Making Butter Sauces:
- If your butter sauce begins to separate from the heat, you can whisk in a little cool water re-emulsify the sauce.
- Cream isn’t an ingredient in a true beurre blanc, but you can add a tablespoon full in order help stabilize it.
- Don’t allow your sauce to cool below 98°F or it will separate when reheated.
- If you have to keep your sauce on the heat once it’s prepared, add a bit of water from time to time so the proportion of water and fat stays constant.
Making Egg and Butter Sauces:
- When making a Hollandaise or Béarnaise sauce, a double boiler will provide the gentle heat necessary to keep the sauce from curdling.
- Adding an acidic reduction to a sauce increases its curdling temperature at least 25 degrees F, to 195°F or 90°C.
- If you have to hold your sauce, make sure to keep it covered over low heat and stir it occasionally.
- If your sauce curdles, strain out any solids, then start with a new warm egg yolk and 1 teaspoon of water. Slowly whisk the sauce into the new yolk. This also works for re-warming refrigerated sauces.
- If you’re concerned about salmonella from undercooked eggs, you can heat the egg yolks in a microwave to kill bacteria while you pre-thicken them.
- If the weather is humid, use clarified butter rather than regular butter.
- Never add salt before cooking the yolks, as it will cause curdling.
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