MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP
We agree with Julia Child: every good cook should know how to make all the proper sauces—including the often intimidating hollandaise—from scratch. But let's get real. When you're making hollandaise the traditional way, there's always the chance that the sauce will curdle. And if you've got a hungry crowd waiting for brunch, this may be the right occasion for a legitimate shortcut. We found her method, which she says is "within the capabilities of an 8-year-old child", to be nearly failproof and the resulting sauce just a little lighter. This shortcut is adapted from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I (Knopf, 1961).
1/2 lb. unsalted butter
6 egg yolks
4–6 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until it begins to foam, 15–20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, put egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, and pepper into the jar of an electric blender. Cover, and blend on high speed for 2 seconds; then, with the motor still running, gradually add melted butter in a slow, steady stream through hole in blender lid, leaving milky solids behind. Adjust seasonings.