Easy Hollandaise sauce for Asparagus

My quick and easy Hollandaise sauce for Asparagus

Hollandaise Sauce, also called Dutch sauce, is an emulsion of egg yolk, melted butter, and lemon juice, seasoned with salt and white or cayenne pepper. According to the original classical Escoffier recipe from the beginning of the 20th century, Hollandaise sauce should be only made from egg yolk, clarified butter, salt, and pepper.

Asparagus season (Spargelzeit) in Germany usually starts at the middle or end of April and officially ends on the 24th of June, the Feast Day of Saint John the Baptist. This day is also known as Spargelsilvester (Silvester is the last day of the year, New Year’s Eve).

One of my family’s favorite dishes of this period is Asparagus with Hollandaise sauce and ham (either air-cured or smoked). Although you can buy Hollandaise sauce pretty much everywhere, the taste is not always what you would expect so I like making my own.

My sauce recipe is a combination of hollandaise and dijonnaise (mustard) sauce. Although not the original recipe, this one is easy to make and you can use whole eggs. You can use this sauce not only for asparagus but also for fish, seafood, vegetables, eggs Benedict, and more. You only need a small pot and a whisk and it’s ready in about 5-7 minutes!

Ingredients: (4 servings ~ 1kg Asparagus):
4 egg yolks or 2 whole eggs (M size for Europe, L for America)
150 g butter
1/2 tsp salt
100 ml of water
1 tbsp lemon juice (about 15ml) – can be replaced with vinegar, lime or white wine
2 tsp mustard (I use dijon)
100 ml fat sour cream (I use Schmand with 24% fat or Crème fraîche with 30% fat; any sour cream with min. 10% fat should be fine)
freshly chopped parsley (dried one also works but you will get less flavor)

  1. Put all the ingredients in a small pot, excepting the sour cream. If you have a small pot with a thick bottom, you can use it to make the sauce. If not, you will need to make the sauce on a water bath. You should cut the butter in smaller pieces to help melt it faster.
  2. Put the pot on low heat or water bath and stir continuously. You should insist whisking on the bottom so it doesn’t curdle.
  3. Mix it until it thickens like a cream. In the beginning, the mixture should be slightly foamy (after about 2 minutes). Then it starts thickening (after about 3-4 minutes). At this point, you should have something that already looks like a sauce.
  4. Take the pot from the stove/water bath, let it rest for about 1 minute while you fetch the sour cream from the fridge.
  5. Add the sour cream and mix it well until it is completely incorporated.
  6. Serve it with freshly chopped parsley.

That’s it! The secret is to use low heat and stir continuously. I use a small pot with a rather thick bottom and level 3 on stove knob (from maximum 9). When using only egg yolks, you will get a firmer sauce. I like using whole eggs since I don’t need to think about what to do with the egg whites. You can also add some pepper (black/white/cayenne) and/or nutmeg.
This hollandaise sauce can be stored in the fridge (it will get harder thanks to the butter). If you have some left, you can add it to a potato salad or just put in on top of some boiled potatoes. Or make a delicious Eggs Benedict breakfast/brunch.