|1 Lg||Egg Yolk|
|1/3 Cup||Butter, melted|
|1/2 tsp||Lemon Juice|
Place about 2 inches of water in the bottom of a small sauce pan. Find a small bowl that will fit over the saucepan to make a double boiler. (Most double boilers are too big for the small amount of sauce this recipe makes). The bowl should be over, not in, the water. Put the pot on the stove at medium heat. Keep the bowl to the side.
Measure the sherry and lemon juice into one small bowl and the salt and cayenne into another. You don't want to have to stop whisking to measure these ingredients, so take the time to set it up ahead.
When the water is boiling and the ingredients have been measured, place the egg yolk into the small metal bowl. (Bowl should not be hot.)
Don't put it on the heat yet. First start to whisk the yolk until it's an even consistency. Carefully measure out 1 tablespoon of the boiling water and add it to the egg yolk.
Now put the bowl on the pot of boiling water and whisk until it starts to thicken. (If it looks like the yolk is starting to scramble pull it off the heat and whisk vigerously until it comes back under control. You can tell by watching the edges of the yolk mixture for dryness.)
Pull it off the heat and whisk in lemon juice and sherry. Return to heat and whisk until thick and frothy.
Pull the eggs off the heat again and whisk as you drizzle in the melted butter slowly. (You might find it convenient to have a wet towel on your counter to help hold the bowl in place.) The sauce will get nice and glossy. Add the salt and cayenne and serve immediately.
If you can't serve this immediately, store it in a thermos until time to serve. Store left over hollandaise in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Hollandaise doesn't reheat well in bulk. It tends to separate. But you can add dollops of cold hollandaise to the tops of hot foods and let the ambient heat melt it back to saucy goodness, much like you might use butter.
Now I like my hollandaise with a little kick but you can reduce the cayenne to just a pinch if you'd like. This recipe serves four, but it can easily be doubled or tripled for a holiday crowd.
Try it on meats, vegetables, eggs... it is very versatile.