While this posting will mostly be about the condiment, for anyone not familiar with it, there’s a song / dance named La Mayonesa…
Probably with some kind of R rating to it, but hey, it’s Latin so it’s just a cultural thing…
With that out of the way, on to the condiment:
In an earlier posting I’d lamented that Best Foods / Hellman’s and also Kraft have shrunk the size of a quart of Mayo to be 30 ounces. The suggestion was made that it’s pretty easy to make your own, and looking into it, that is very much the case.
In that posting, a couple of How To comments were made. One, by Young Heaving Bosoms Of Liberty (h/t) is simple and uses a stick blender (now on my shopping list):
With a stick blender the emulsification is nearly trivial. Extra light olive oil has nearly no flavor, and the more expensive avocado oil has none. It’s a 5 minute job, not counting the time to let the eggs warm up to room temperature. I usually just pull two eggs out of the fridge and put them in about 12 oz of hot water, and it stabilizes at room temp.
Find a vessel that is just a bit larger than the head of your stick blender. I use a 2 cup pyrex measuring cup.
Add room temperature eggs, seasonings (e.g. mustard), your acid (lemon juice, apple cider vinegar) to the cup.
Submerge the stick blender head, trying to avoid air bubbles.
Pour the amount of oil called for by the recipe on top and let it settle for a bit.
With the stick blender head firmly against the bottom, let ‘er rip. The watery ingredients combine, and then a little stream of oil will be sucked into the vortex. Keep the blender at the bottom until the oil isn’t streaming anymore, at which point you will have a nice thick emulsion. Then play with the blender head to get the rest of the oil incorporated.
My children can do it.
I’ve seen similar ones in various how to postings, and the general idea is one I’m going to be doing when I try a batch in a few days. Another posting pointed at Alton Brown’s method (h/t PaulID)
@ E.M. us Alton Browns recipe for Mayo which is adaptable it is the only one I use, watch his video and you will have some of the best mayo out there.
That first link gives you the recipe:
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown
Show: Good Eats
Episode: The Mayo Clinic
1 egg yolk*
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 pinches sugar
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 cup oil, safflower or corn
In a glass bowl, whisk together egg yolk and dry ingredients. Combine lemon juice and vinegar in a separate bowl then thoroughly whisk half into the yolk mixture. Start whisking briskly, then start adding the oil a few drops at a time until the liquid seems to thicken and lighten a bit, (which means you’ve got an emulsion on your hands). Once you reach that point you can relax your arm a little (but just a little) and increase the oil flow to a constant (albeit thin) stream. Once half of the oil is in add the rest of the lemon juice mixture.
Continue whisking until all of the oil is incorporated. Leave at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours then refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Now I’ve read a bunch of recipes on how to make mayo. The Alton Brown one is undoubtedly a good one as most of his stuff is pretty well done. But like all his stuff, he gets a bit over the top picky about some details. Like “glass bowl” (I’m pretty sure plastic or copper would work too) and “fine salt” (as opposed to his usual “kosher salt”… really, most of the time salt dissolves into the wet stuff so the exact kind of salt doesn’t change things much). I suspect some of that “marking” is just to mark the recipe as their creation for copyright purposes.
Now what I’m interested in is the idea of “Mayo-ness”. What are the essentials and what changes. Near as I can tell, one of the essentials is a fairly neutral oil. Years ago I tried making a mayo with Olive Oil, as everyone raved about it, and found the flavor too strong. To use strongly flavored oils, you either need to cut them with a neutral oil, or have a very special use in mind. The experience put me off making home made Mayo for years.
So the first “essential” is a cup of neutral oil. I’m likely to start with Safflower if I can find it, or a 1/2 and 1/2 mix of extra light (mild flavor) Olive Oil and Canola oil. Soybean is used in the common mayos like Kraft and Best foods. I’m not keen on it for some personal reasons (a niece who reacts badly to all things Soy; and the tendency to soak soybeans in Roundup these days as it’s mostly GMO “Roundup Ready”). As I am allergic to corn protein, I avoid corn products where possible (even though the oil ought to be protein free). Avocado Oil and Grape Oil are supposed to be good, but I’m going to avoid “strange and uncommon oils” at the start. The key takeaway here is that there are dozens of types of oil so many variations of flavor based on the oil choice. I’m going to start pedantic and then branch out into crazy jazz flavors later, once I’ve mastered “ordinary”.
The next “essential” is egg. Some recipes are only yoke. Some are whole eggs. Some, pushing the low cholesterol angle (in a product that is mostly fat…) use the egg whites. I’m going to try using a whole egg first, only falling back to “yoke only” if I fail. Best Foods / Hellman’s lists “Egg Yoke” and “Egg” as ingredients, so likely 1/2 and 1/2 yoke and whole egg. I’m going to use a large egg and only later figure out if medium or extra-large is better, or makes any difference at all.
Then there is “an acid”. This can be vinegar, in any of dozens of flavors for variations, or citrus juice (lemon, lime, etc.) or likely a few other acids (citric…)
Finally, the flavoring agents. Salt, pepper, sugar, mustard, any “special” adjuncts. The mustard also acts as an emulsifier, IIRC. Mustards, too, come in many styles and flavors, so yet more variations. “Prepared Mustard” is mostly just ground mustard seeds in some vinegar with some turmeric, so that can be used instead of dry powdered mustard with at most a small change to the other acid in the recipe.
The “trick” to making mayo is to slowly incorporate the oil. Start small and get all the other stuff mixed up with at most a touch of oil, then slowly add the rest. Avoid blending so much that things get hot…
In theory, that’s it for the basic “how to” of Mayo.
So “How much”? A teaspoon is about 15 ml for all practical purposes in the recipes. A cup is 250 ml more or less.
It seems to be, roughly, a cup of oil, one egg or large yoke or 2 small ones, 1 to 2 Tablespoons (3 to 6 teaspoons) of acid, 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of dry mustard, 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Then some pinches of optional sugar (or about 5 ml). It looks like several of these can vary and still make an interesting Mayo. Here’s a sample ingredient list from Epicurious:
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature 30 minutes
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4 cup olive or vegetable oil (or a combination), divided
1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar or cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Their procedure is more complicated / exact in the order of mixing. I doubt much of it matters other than the slow incorporation of the oil.
Whisk together yolk, mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon salt until combined well. Add about 1/4 cup oil drop by drop, whisking constantly until mixture begins to thicken. Whisk in vinegar and lemon juice, then add remaining 1/2 cup oil in a very slow, thin stream, whisking constantly until well blended. If at any time it appears that oil is not being incorporated, stop adding oil and whisk mixture vigorously until smooth, then continue adding oil. Whisk in salt to taste and white pepper. Chill, surface covered with plastic wrap, until ready to use.
I found a couple of recipes that claim to make a close match to the Best Foods / Hellman’s brand (which is my historical buy).
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1⁄4 teaspoon table salt
1 dash white pepper
1 cup canola oil, room temperature
I note this one for the easy to remember “unitary” sizes… 1 (whole) egg, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (so 3 teaspoons), 1 teaspoon each of dry mustard and vinegar, then just a dash of pepper with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. 1 Cup of oil. That’s 4 teaspoons of acid which seems a bit high to me.
Their process is basically the same as all the stick blender recipes.
Break egg into bottom of 1-quart canning jar or other tall narrow jar. The jar should be only slightly wider than the end of the stick blender.
Add lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, table salt and white pepper.
Add 1 cup of vegetable oil.
Place mixing blades of stick blender (turned off) all the way to the bottom of the jar, pressing down over the egg.
Turn stick blender on high speed, hold in place at bottom of jar for about 5-seconds, until you see mayonnaise form under stick blender’s mixing blades.
Slowly pull stick blender upward until the mixing blades reaches top of jar, taking about 5-seconds to do so. The stick blender will turn the oil into mayonnaise as it is pulled slowly to the top of the jar.
Chill before using to allow mayonnaise to thicken slightly and for flavors to develop.
These folks copy a “Top Secret Recipes” version (they do link to the original site where they want 79 ¢ to see the recipe…)
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp water
1/4 tsp plus 1/8 teaspoon of salt
1/4 tsp plus 1/8 teaspoon of granulated sugar
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1 c vegetable or canola oil
The “usual” cup of oil, 1 egg yoke (so not the same as Best Foods / Hellman’s as it is a mix of yoke and whole egg) then some strange mixed sizes. Why a tsp of water? Will 1/4 tsp of vinegar in 2 tsps really make any difference at all? Only 1/4 tsp of lemon juice, and then “plus 1/8” onthe salt and sugar? Not going to happen… I suspect someone making strange minor changes to “brand” it as “special” and “theirs”.
This next one uses regular old yellow mustard:
It claims to be an adaptation of the Alton Brown one above.
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 pinches granulated sugar (optional)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (can sub apple cider or rice wine vinegar)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 cup light olive oil
Using light olive oil, so a bit of olive flavor. “The usual” one egg yoke. 1 Tsp yellow mustard, so not the picky stuff nor the dry stuff. Fine “sea salt” – is that really going to matter? But a full 1/2 tsp of it. Pinches of sugar and then 1 Table Spoon of vinegar AND 2 tsp of lemon juice. This will be a bit more tart of a mayo.
Their process uses a whisk… for those unafraid of lots of arm work.
In a large glass bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, mustard, sea salt and sugar (if using).
In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar and lemon juice. Whisk half of the vinegar mixture into the egg mixture until thoroughly combined.
Start whisking briskly, then begin adding the oil a few drops at a time, until the liquid begins to thicken and lighten a bit. Once you reach that point, continue whisking while you add the oil in a very slow, steady stream. Once half of the oil has been incorporated, whisk in the remaining vinegar mixture. Continue whisking until all of the oil is incorporated.
Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours, then refrigerate for up to 1 week.
WebMD has a review of commercial “lite” mayonnaise products, then lists a DIY option:
1 large egg (use a higher omega-3 brand, if available)
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1/4 teaspoon honey (granulated sugar can be substituted)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (black pepper can be substituted)
1/2 cup canola oil
6 tablespoons fat-free sour cream (light sour cream can be substituted)
Here we only use 1/2 cup of oil, but add 6 tablespoons of “fat-free sour cream” which seems like an oxymoron to me. A whole egg is used, the 1 Tablespoon of acid (either of vinegar or lemon), 1/4 of “Dijon” mustard for more spicy effect, honey instead of sugar (but sugar is OK too…) and the 1/4 of salt and pepper.
They use a food processor…
In food processor, combine egg; vinegar or lemon juice; mustard; honey; salt and white pepper, pulsing until totally blended.
With food processor running, slowly add canola oil in a steady stream through the open tube on the lid (about 60 seconds). Scrape sides of food processor bowl with rubber spatula, add fat-free sour cream and pulse a few seconds more.
Add more vinegar, mustard, honey, or pepper if needed for desired flavor.
Yield: 1 1/8 cup (18 tablespoons)
The variations seem numerous, so not much risk of not getting a mayo, just one that tastes “different”. One recipe in addition to the usual nags about raw eggs, said you can pasteurize your own by soaking them in a bowl of water at 145 F (IIRC) for about 1/2 hour. This link says 5 minutes:
How To Pasteurize Eggs
March 19, 2015 By Elise
Well, the risk of salmonella even in conventional eggs is only about 1 in 20,000 (source), but is it really worth tempting fate?
Honestly, pasteurizing your own eggs at home is so easy, that it doesn’t even have to be a question.
All it involved is water, a candy thermometer, a saucepan, and, of course, eggs.
How To Pasteurize Eggs
Candy thermometer or instant read thermometer
Room temperature Eggs
Fill a saucepan with enough water to completely cover the eggs, and place over very low heat.
Clip candy thermometer to the side. You can also skip the candy thermometer and just “wing it” by heating the water until it’s hot enough that you can’t stand to dip your finger in for more than a second. This method isn’t reliable though, and I highly recommend a thermometer.
Heat water to 140º and hold it there for a few minutes to make sure you have your heat level adjusted properly. You don’t want to put your eggs in only to have your temperature rise and cook them.
Place eggs gently in the water.
The water temperature may dip a bit when the eggs are added.
Bring temperature back up to 140º and hold for five minutes.
Remove eggs from warm water and let cool.
Salmonella is killed at a temperature of 136º, which should be attained using this method, however, it’s not a 100% guarantee. Since we don’t have any way to measure the internal temperature of the egg. But if nothing else, you’ve reduced the risk from one in twenty thousand, to even less. Much, much less!
They start with room temperature eggs, I note. My tap hot water is about 155 F, so this could be quick and easy. I’ll likely not bother as I had turtles when I was a kid and have had raw egg nog most of my life. I’m certain to have been loaded with salmonella at various times and by now have lots of immunity.
Then this one uses a blender (the regular with a big glass beaker on top kind):
1 whole egg
1⁄2 teaspoon dry mustard
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons distilled vinegar (clear)
1 cup canola oil
1 dash paprika (optional)
Note that it uses a whole egg. Then 1/2 teaspoons each of dry mustard and salt, a full 2 Tablespoons (or 6 teaspoons) of vinegar, and the usual one cup of oil. A dash of paprika replacing the pepper.
Serving size is 1 tablespoon. Recipe makes 1-1/4 cups mayonnaise.
Wash the outside of the egg shell with soap and water.
Rinse and dry.
In blender, add egg, dry mustard, vinegar, (optional paprika) and 1/4 cup oil.
Turn on low for 1-2 minutes.
Turn blender off, and scrape sides if necessary.
Turn blender on, and while it is running, slowly add the remaining 3/4 cups oil.
Blend until the consistency of mayonnaise.
Refrigerate in non-reactive container.
FOR VARIATION: Add 1/4-1/2 tsp of your desired seasoning, such as, basil, tarragon, or parsley.
Note the seasoned variations. That WebMD link, in the page prior to the DIY recipe (page 3) has several flavored mayonnaises made by blending flavorings into mayo. Looks like the sky is the limit there.
OK, the basics are pretty clear. Cup of oil and some mustard (most any kind and about 1/2 teaspoon), with an egg or egg yoke tossed in, along with a tablespoon or two of a liquid acid (mostly from the vinegar and lemon juice families), along with a small amount of salt (about 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon) and some optional pepper or seasonings. Sugar or other sweetener if you like, but only a touch. Start with things at about room temperature, and slowly add the oil as you blend or whisk, never getting it hot.
Pretty simple, I’d say. Biggest problem looks to be deciding just what flavor you like and figuring out what ingredients get you there.
For me, that’s going to be a cup of neutral flavored oil, 2 Tablespoon of plain white vinegar, a whole egg, 1 tsp yellow mustard, and a very small amount of salt & pepper. Just plain old table salt and the white pepper I use in mashed potatoes. About 1/4 and 1/8 teaspoons each, respectively. I think that ought to do it for a first try at bland commercial style mayo.
Clearly with all the variations shown in the recipes above, there are LOTS of things that make a mayo. Once I have a neutral plain one, then I can think about things like the merit of Lite Olive Oil or the flavor ‘kick’ from a bit-o-honey in the mix. But first I need to buy a stick blender… Time to go shopping I think.