Who here has done this? How successful were you? What tips do you have? Recipes? How long does it keep? Thanks!
Me. Very successful.
Best tip: Warm the bowl in which you are about to whisk up your mayo. I fill it with hot tap water and let it sit a minute while I assemble the mustard, eggs, lemon and oil. The warmth acts to help things emulsify much more readily. I’ve never had a mayonnaise break or curdle since I started doing this. Also put a damp towel on the counter to put the bowl on, and it won’t spin around while you’re whisking.
I don’t have an actual recipe with me, and I usually do it from memory. Such as it is, it’s:
1 tablespoon of lemon juice or white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of dijion mustard
1 egg yolk
Whisk these together in the warm bowl until they are thoroughly blended and a little foamy. Start adding in dribbles about 1/2 cup of oil, either pure olive oil or blended olive oil and bland vegetable oil. Accelerate from dribbles to a thin steady stream of oil after you’ve incorporated in a couple of tablespoons.
Variations to add in: Crushed garlic, minced tarragon, anchovy paste, minced parsley, grated lemon rind, dill weed, paprika, finely grated parmigiano.
I don’t know how long it keeps. I only make a little at a time and it gets promptly used up. If you add less oil (so it doesn’t get as thick), and ramp up some of the above seasonings to your taste, it becomes an excellent salad dressing.
We once made some pink peppercorn mayonnaise from a recipe in one of the Silver Palate cookbooks. It was amazing stuff and very, very easy to make. IIRC oil, egg whites and pink peppercorns in a food processor. Don’t have any idea how long it lasted as we just ate it with a meal. Definitely worth trying.
recipe was egg, egg yolk, lemon juice (2 tbsp), tomato paste (1tbsp) and mustard plus 1 tbsp pink peppercorns in a processor or blender until the right consistency. Was quick, easy and delicious. Go for it.
I’ve done it. It’s very easy. It only keeps for about a week, but the nice thing about it is that you can design your mayo to go with whatever you’re eating that week, and make just enough to cover it. I also love to use lime juice instead of lemon.
The other nice thing is that homemade mayo is a blank slate. You can do anything you want with it. All the fat in it dissolves flavor compounds like nobody’s business. I like to add dill weed and garlic for almost a “green goddess” mayo. I have also made spicy sriracha mayo, mustard mayo, fresh basil and oregano mayo, horseradish mayo, and some others I’m not recalling right now.
Missed edit window:
recipe was egg, egg yolk, lemon juice (2 tbsp), tomato paste (1tbsp) and mustard plus 1 tbsp pink peppercorns in a processor or blender for ten seconds, then half a cup of oil a bit at a time until correct consistency. Season with salt. Was quick, easy and delicious. Go for it.
That s$%t sounds good, bro!
I was less than successful the one time I’ve tried; it just didn’t hold together. I was discouraged, but I haven’t given up yet.
It ain’t too bad. I made sauteed bell pepper sandwiches the other day, on fresh bread, with swiss cheese and horseradish mayo. I recommend it.
Warming the bowl ahead of time sounds like a good tip – I’ll have to try that (I assume that it should be thoroughly dried before you start?). A damp towel or a silicone pad to sit the bowl on is mandatory.
The two keys, in my experience, are:
(1) don’t start adding the oil until you already have a good emulsion going (the mixture is already thickening and is noticeably lighter in color than when you started);
(2) if you’re doing this by hand, you almost can’t add the oil slowly enough, especially at the beginning.
That said, I like to add my lemon juice/vinegar (I use a mixture of both) in two batches, half at the beginning and half in the middle of the process. It doesn’t make too much of a difference in the outcome, but it helps me to be sure that I can feel the emulsion thickening at the beginning.
I’ve only had one batch break on me, but it’s no big deal: just start with a fresh egg yolk and add the “broken” mayo in place of oil.
It lasts more than a week, definitely less than two – knowing this, the fact that the store-bought stuff lasts for months on end is kind of scary…
Possibly relevant cartoon. (Also possibly NSFW).
A stand mixer makes it a lot easier since it leaves both your hands free to handle the ingredients.
Mayo made from 100% olive oil can break more easily than mayo made from other oils (On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee explains why - I don’t remember the details). The older the olive oil, the more likely the mayo will break. You can avoid the problem by using the freshest olive oil possible, or by mixing olive oil with other oils.
Another thing about olive oil: strong-flavored olive oil can make an overpowering mayonnaise. I look for a mild-flavored oil when making mayo.
Mustard is an important ingredient, since it acts as an emulsifier. I generally use dry mustard rather than prepared mustard.
BTW, I have made large batches of mayo that have lasted for months in the refrigerator. The acidity of the lemon juice and vinegar will prevent spoilage.
It’s easy. Just go slow. The rule I use is 100 ml of oil per egg yolk. Go a couple of drops at a time at first, and when you’re about 1/3 of the way through and have a decent emulsion going, you can start whisking in the oil in a steady stream. If you use a hand mixer (or even a blender), then you have very little chance of screwing up. Just make sure you see all the oil is absorbed by the yolk (you’ll see when it forms a homogenous mass) before adding any more oil. If it seems really soupy for the first half to two-thirds of the oil, don’t worry. As long as it’s not separated you’re fine. It doesn’t really start coming together and looking like mayonnaise until you get most of the oil the yolks can handle in there. It’s almost counterintuitive–you want to think adding more liquid will make only make it soupier, but it doesn’t: it comes and gels together into a viscous yellowish-white mass.
I personally do like a full-on olive oil mayonnaise, but most people tend to like it lighter, so mix canola (or any other neutral oil) with olive oil at a 50-50 ratio. Mustard, as has been stated, helps in the emulsion (because of the lecithin it contains), so it’s best to add this at the beginning. A lot of people also add the lemon juice and and herbs and spices at the beginning, but I usually just add those at the end.
My experience with homemade mayo is that it really starts to deteriorate after a couple of days. I wouldn’t hold it longer than a week, and I tend to be pretty liberal about my personal food safety. Online sites I’ve scanned say to use anywhere from 3 to 8 days.
Sure, dry it out, but a few drops of water aren’t going to hurt anything. I discovered it because I wanted to warm up the egg yolk and mustard to room temperature as I knew that the refrigerated ingredients wouldn’t blend well with room temp ingredients. A warm bowl not only did this, but seems to make an un-breakable mayo. When the bowl is warm, there’s no need to dribble the oil quite so slowly at first. Indeed, I add it by the spoonful right off the bat and it whisks up just fine.
The trick is getting the emulsification going, but once you get it started it’s easy and delicious – better than from a jar.
Your options for flavoring are pretty much unlimited – herby, citrusy, spicy, whatever you want. I’ve done a sriracha mayo that was pretty good. Sun dried tomatoes are good too. Being able to work up a quick mayo is a good tool to have in the culinary box. I’m actually kind of surprised you haven’t already tried it, chefguy.
Terminal laziness on my part. I grind my own burger and sausage, and have made my own tortillas, but for some reason just never got around to making mayo, even though it’s my favorite condiment.
You should definitely give it a shot. The difference in flavor from store bought is significant, even with just the most basic, plain rendition, plus it’s quite easy and it’s extremely amenable to experimentation and personal touches. Produces a nice wow factor for entertaining too. With your skill set you’d be making some knockout preparations in no time.
The homemade kind is the only kind I like. Make it in small batches and don’t let it sit around for more than a few days.
When I used to make it (my wife is somewhat paranoid about salmonella, so I don’t make it anymore) I used a food processor, and made a well of waxed paper with a tiny hole in the bottom. And, when I say tiny, I mean about the size of a pencil lead. After the emulsion started forming, I’d pour oil into the top of the well, and just let it drain in very slowly. Works like a charm.
My current food processor has a tiny hole in the pusher - looks as though it was designed for that very purpose.
One additional tip: I like to use a squeeze bottle to hold my oil. It’s a lot easier to dribble from a small tip than from my measuring cup.
Huh? Warm bowls? Breaking the emulsion?
I make mayo using a recipe I got from Equipoise. It is simple, easy and delivers flawless results. I’ve never had any problems and I make it every week.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 3/4 cups vegetable oil (I pour both into a 2 cup measuring cup)
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
5 tablespoons lemon juice
1 pinch of salt
1 grind of black pepper
Pour 1/4 cup of the oil mixture into the blender, then drop in the egg yolks, the egg, the salt, pepper, mustard and lemon juice (rinsing the mustard out of the tablespoon measure with the lemon juice).
Blend the mixture for a couple of minutes (you may need to scrape the mustard into the mix with a spatula).
Then, slowly pour the remaining 1 3/4 cups of oil into the running blender. You may have to pause blending to break up a bubble and ensure the entire mixture has blended.
The hardest part of the entire process is cleaning the blender. But the only other items to clean are a spatula, the measuring cup and a tablespoon - minimal clean-up is very high on my list of priorities when cooking.