October 12, 2012 |
It’s easier than you think.
The process of making mayonnaise is a basic emulsification (getting two things to mix that normally don’t), so it is a bit of a delicate process and time consuming; but the end result is so worth it.
What I like best about homemade mayo (other than it completely delicious, and fabulous on BLT’s!) is you control what goes into it, so you can tweak the flavoring to your liking… and you can get adventurous! The general ingredients are egg yolk, oil, an acid (vinegar or lemon juice), dry mustard powder, salt and white pepper. For the oil, you can use whatever kind you prefer, but a vegetable oil will yield the most authentic “mayonnaise” flavor. Again, for the acid, use what you prefer; I like to use just regular white vinegar. If you don’t have dry mustard powder, you can use prepared mustard, but it will change the overall color of the mayo. For salt, I prefer Kosher.
This recipe will yield approximately 1 – 1 1/2 cups
1 Egg yolk
1 Tbsp acid (lemon juice or vinegar)
Pinch salt plus extra (Kosher is preferred)
1 Cup oil (vegetable or 1/2 vegetable 1/2 olive oil is preferred)
1 Tsp dry mustard powder (or a small dash of prepared mustard)
White pepper to taste
In a stainless steel or glass mixing bowl, combine the egg yolk, acid, and pinch of salt until light frothy (If you start off with a raw egg yolk, it is not recommended for young children to consume the finished mayonnaise. In this case, you can use the “safe” method and use a double-boiler to gently heat the egg yolk, salt, and acid, whisk until slightly frothy, then remove it from the heat and follow the rest of the directions). For the next steps, you can either use a food processor/blender, or whisk by hand. Start by adding one or two drops of the oil and whisk continuously (or blend). Keep doing this process until you can see the egg yolk mixture is starting to change and become more cloudy, this is know as “the emulsification is catching.” Then slowly add the oil in a small, steady stream while whisking/blending. During this step, also add in the pepper and more salt to your liking. Just keep adding oil until the mayo gets to the traditional thick “mayonnaise” consistency.
Should your mayo “break,” (which means you lose the smooth mixture of the yolk and oil, aka the emulsification) you will know right away because your smooth, creamy mayo will turn into a grainy-looking watery liquid. Sadly, I don’t know how to fix a broken sauce. I have seen in my culinary classes to get a new bowl, spoon some of the broken mixture into the bowl, and start the oil process over. There may be ways you can find online to fix it, but I just recommend starting over if you have the extra ingredients.
TIP: If you are going to whisk by hand, to help steady the bowl (because you will need one hand to whisk, and one hand to add in the oil, leaving no hands to steady the bowl), take a damp kitchen towel/rag and coil it into a circle under the bowl, making almost a nest. Set the bowl on top, and the damp towel will hold the bowl steady for you.
You can keep the leftover mayo in the fridge in an air-tight container for 24-36 hours, then discard it.