The asparagus season has begun this year and with it the rush for the hollandaise sauce. But why is the sauce, which actually comes from France, even called part of the Netherlands? And how do you get them perfect? Hollandaise sauce recipe
It is popular all over the world, but especially so in Germany: the white asparagus. Of course, there are numerous variations, ranging from brown butter to a simple squeeze of lemon. But the hollandaise sauce is and remains the classic on the asparagus sticks – a seasonal darling for everyone. And it also goes really well with green asparagus.
What exactly is in it, how best to prepare it, what to do if it does curdle and why it’s actually called sauce hollandaise.
Why is hollandaise sauce “Dutch”?
Anyone who likes to eat the rich sauce may have wondered why it actually bears this name. Especially when you know that it actually comes from French cuisine. Where does the nickname “Dutch” come from? It’s the good dairy products that Holland has been known for for centuries that now lead us to an attempt at an explanation – or rather: it’s the butter, which is also the main ingredient in the hollandaise sauce.
The sauce is said to have originated in Normandy, more precisely in the municipality of Isigny-sur-Mer, and was therefore called Sauce Isigny. But when French butter became scarce during the First World War, the Dutch variant was used. Whether they were christened “Dutch” in order to distance themselves from the outset from possible shame from French gourmets, who preferred French butter – the French could be expected to do it – or the nickname is to be understood as a kind of homage to the Netherlands, is questionable. If you ask the Duden about the origin of the word, it says “unclarified”.
It is said to have been the Huguenots who finally brought the sauce, or at least a first form of butter sauce, from France to the Netherlands in the 17th century. What is certain is that around 300 years later it has become a real cult.
The recipe for sauce hollandaise – including tips
For anyone who wants to try the homemade hollandaise sauce, here are the recipes and tips:
3 egg yolks (M)
approx. 50 ml white wine
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper
Hollandaise sauce recipe: Preparation
1. Heat the butter in a saucepan, bring to the boil briefly and then simmer for about 20 minutes until the whey separates from the fat. Finally skim off the resulting foam and let the now clarified butter cool down a bit.
2. In the meantime, beat the egg yolks with the white wine and possibly 1-2 tablespoons of water (all at room temperature) in a bowl over a hot water bath – for about three to five minutes until you get a creamy consistency.
3. Very slowly, drop by drop, beat the melted butter into the egg mixture and season with lemon, salt and pepper at the end.
In order for the fat and egg to combine, the water bath or the mixture must not be heated too much or even boiled, otherwise the egg will flake.
Similar to making mayonnaise, the ingredients for the hollandaise sauce should all be at about the same temperature so that they combine well. So let the butter cool down a bit before you fold it into the egg mixture.
Always beat the butter in droplets or in a thin stream under the egg mixture.
A perfect hollandaise sauce is creamy and doesn’t clump, and still tastes fresh despite the high fat content from the lemon.
Serve the hollandaise sauce straight away and do not reheat.
This will help if the sauce curdles
Sparkling mineral water is ideal for roadside assistance: shake a small bottle and hold it shut with your thumb – then squirt a thin stream into the sauce and stir vigorously.
Since the sauce tends to thicken if it gets too hot when whipped, a crushed ice cube or two will also help. Stir in quickly, lowering the temperature. The yolk then binds again.
You can also mix an egg yolk and a tablespoon of warm water and place the bowl in a hot water bath. Then the curdled hollandaise is first added drop by drop and then in a thin stream until it is liquid again.