Julia Child’s Beurre Blanc

The trick to a smooth emulsion for this classic sauce is to whisk in the butter slowly, one piece at a time.

  • Serves

    Makes about 1½ cups

  • Cook

    15 minutes


By SAVEUR Editors

Updated on June 7, 2024

Butter is essentially a smooth mixture of fat and water. The secret to making beurre blanc, also known as beurre nantais, is to preserve its makeup by allowing each addition of butter to melt smoothly into the sauce as you whisk it, before adding the next piece of butter. Never let the sauce come to a boil once the butter is added, which will cause it to separate. Some restaurant cooks add a little heavy cream to the wine reduction before whisking in the butter, to ensure a smooth and stable sauce. This recipe is based on one in Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck. Serve with fish, poultry, or vegetables.


  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped shallots
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • 24 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • ½ tsp. fresh lemon juice


Step 1

To a small pot, add the wine and vinegar, and bring to a boil. Add the shallots, salt, and pepper, then turn the heat to medium-low and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, 3–4 minutes. (There should be about 1½ tablespoons of liquid left. If reduced too far, add 1 tablespoon of water to remoisten.)

Step 2

Remove the pot from the heat, then whisk in 2 cubes of butter. Return the pot to the stove, turn the heat to low, and continue whisking in the butter one cube at a time, allowing each piece to melt into the sauce before adding more.

Step 3

Remove the pot from the heat, then whisk in the lemon juice and season to taste with more salt. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.