Tuesday, February 14, 2012

homemade mayonnaise: the trial and error edition

I've tried making mayonnaise at home so many different ways; whole eggs versus yolks only; dry mustard, Dijon mustard, no mustard; all olive oil, half olive oil, half canola oil; vinegar instead of lemon juice; by hand and by blender; black pepper or no pepper. You get the idea. And the thing is, I've never really been happy with it. It either tastes too overwhelmingly olive-oily or has a hint of too spicy bitterness as an aftertaste from the mustard, or is just otherwise "off."


Perhaps I'm too picky. Or maybe growing up on "un-mayonnaise" (a.k.a. "Miracle Whip") has ruined me for life, and I have no concept of what real mayonnaise is supposed to taste like. I don't know. All I know is that I have daily fresh eggs and a potted lemon tree, and therefore I really can't bring myself to get store-bought mayonnaise that I know has inferior quality ingredients. I'm certain this makes me a mayonnaise snob.


And being a mayonnaise snob means I - ahem - am running out of money for organic oil by the cup for my little experiments.

A beautifully-textured whole-egg blender mayo. It looks great and tastes...eh.
Look at the color of this egg yolk mayo! Gorgeous! Too bad I broke it :( That means my emulsion separated because I added to much oil at once, I think.
My current version, which is much, much better. I won't say it's perfect, but it saves me from avoiding recipes with mayonnaise in them.

Here's my ever-evolving homemade mayonnaise recipe, which I'm giving you mostly as a way to solicit your opinions and advice:

Ingredients:
1 whole egg, at room temperature
a dash of salt
1-2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-2 teaspoons honey
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Up to 1 Cup of oil (3/4 Canola, 1/4 Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

Method:
1. Add the egg, salt, and about half of the lemon juice to the bowl of your food processor.

2. Blend for a minute or so.

3. Begin adding about half of the oil very slowly in a thin stream.

3. Continuing to blend, add half of the Dijon mustard and honey.

4. Slowly add the remaining oil until the mayonnaise is your desired thickness.

5. Stop blending and taste. Add more salt, lemon juice, honey, or mustard as you see fit. Blend another 30 seconds or so after any additions.
   
Do you make your own mayonnaise, friends? Would you be willing to share your thoughts and tips?

28 comments:

  1. Mayonnaise is one of those things that i 'know' i should make....for all the same reasons as you said but i just never seem to try it!
    I shall have to give your recipe and guide a go and let you know how i find it. At the moment i buy low fat mayonnaise so pretty sure yours HAS to taste better, lol!
    By the pictures yours looks just yummy Jaime!

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  2. Your mayonnaise looks beautiful! :)
    I actually bought a blender just so I could make my own mayo. LOL!! I use all olive oil BUT I use the Extra-Light Tasting olive oil that I also use for baking, that way I don't get that "olive-y" taste. I also use half lemon juice and half white wine vinegar. I was raised on Miracle Whip too but I much prefer mayonnaise now.

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    Replies
    1. I had romantic visions of whisking egg yolks in the kitchen, but the blender was a lifesaver in keeping the mayo emulsified! Thanks for those great tips, Candy.

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  3. It looks beautiful. Perhaps you would prefer an old-fashioned cooked dressing? That has more of a tang like Miracle Whip to it.

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    1. Wait... is this some sort of cooked mayonnaise? As in, some way to explore mayo making without triggering my salmonella death fear? I'd love to see the recipe...

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    2. Oh Jane, it truly would be a blessing if we lived closer. I have much to learn from you....

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    3. Now that I'm thinking about it, the (no egg) dressing I make for cole slaw does kind of tastes like a runny version of Miracle Whip. Hmm!

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  4. When my children were still at home, I always made mayo. The children thought is was so "cool" that I did this. I made mine in a blender. Maybe that is old fashioned, but it was before food processors. The container is very tall, therfore, you could slowly add the oil while is was blending....and magic, I had mayonaise.

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  5. Growing up, I had a friend whose mom made their mayo - and I thought that was very, well, different. We always had Cains mayo at my house. But Husband only eats Hellmans, so I had to switch...not such a big deal. But it's got to be the whole fat kind. I used to buy the light...

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  6. Oh, you are SOOOO much braver than I am. I have wanted to try this for ages, but I fear I suffer from irrational salmonella paranoia. Perhaps I'd feel differently if I had farm fresh eggs to work with. Of course, I do eat eggs over easy with runny yolks on a regular basis, so it's not like there's much rationality or consistency to my paranoia, but still... I'm wondering what this "old-fashioned cooked dressing" that Jane refers to is...

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    1. Well, I reckon that's what the lemon juice is for - to keep the bad bacteria at bay! Although, I'm not sure that's a scientific fact. It calms your fear a bit, though, right? ;)

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  7. I often make mayonnaise, using 2/3 c of oil to every yolk, half olive and half vegetable oil. 1 TBS lemon juice, no mustard, salt. Sometimes I add chopped herbs, or 1-2 TBS milk if I want it more runny.
    I use an electric whisk, impossible to fail!

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  8. Funny, I just took the dive and made mayo for the first time yesterday!! I used the exact recipe you have here (I got it from another site) but added 1TBSP of whey and use extra light olive oil to reduce the olive oil flavor. It emulsified beautifully, but was so yellow. I tried a little dab right away and did not like it at all. I let it set on the counter for 7 hours as directed and then put it in the fridge. Later that night I thought I'd try it one more time. Walla!!! Surprise!! Yummy mayo!!! I will never buy store bought again after this!!!

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    1. Woohoo! That's too funny about the recipe - I completely made this one up (or so I thought!) from a combination of about 6 or 7 other ones I tried and kept tweaking. Hmmm...maybe it's a keeper after all! :) Off to the refrigerator I go to try my mayo!

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  9. Oh, fantastic! I grew up on Miracle Whip, but have always bought mayonnaise my entire married life. You've given me the courage to give it a go. We use a lot of mayo and I HATE the ingredient list. Thanks for the kick in the rear end, LOL

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  10. You all are so helpful. Thank you, thank you!

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  11. Thanks for the recipe! We've tried making mayo once and it was...well...like you said, not quite right! I just said to Tool Lady this morning that we should try again and then here's your recipe! Magic, I tell you. Magic!

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  13. I grew up on hellmans and blue plate mayo and my husband on miracle whip. To me, miracle whip tastes like it is sweet compared to regular mayo. Maybe adding a little sweetener would make it taste right for you???

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    Replies
    1. Yes! I had that thought, too (hence the honey), and it did taste better :)

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  14. You make it sound so easy! I will have to give it a go. How long does your mayo last? I don't use much, so that would be the kicker.

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    1. Hi Susan! You know, I've never had it around for more than a few days, so I'm not sure. I only make it with one egg at a time, and then depending on how much oil you add, you end up with roughly a cup of mayo. So, I use it up on sandwiches and tuna/egg salad and the like.

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  15. Broken mayo is easy to fix: put a room temperature egg yolk in a container, add the broken mayo one drop-drop at a time, whisking like mad. Works every time.

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  16. I've only made mayo once and it was a disaster. Maybe I'll try again some day! I've enjoyed reading some of your posts and decided to follow along. oursweetlandfarm is me (the cow face)

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  17. Oh! thanks! I have been wanting to make mayonnaise! We never buy the stuff, but the kids love mayonnaise sandwiches (doesn't that sound funny? just bread and mayo) and they pick up those awful little high fructose corn syrup packets at the deli of our grocery store and tote them home to make their beloved mayonnaise sammies. Ugh.

    I will try this...thanks for doing the experimentation for me!

    Mia

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  18. Thanks a lot for the recipe. I've done mayonnaise once in my life. The problem is I'm the only one at home who loves it homemade. But anyway I'll give it another try because to me it's so much better than the one from the supermarkets !
    Never thought of the honey; good idea !!! Thank you.

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