Mayonnaise is one of those standards that is found just about every larder or fridge in western culture. It is versatile, can help make something boring interesting, is loved by most people and keeps.
However, most of us fall for the adverts and buy something mediocre from the supermarket shelves like the ubiquitous Hellmann's range. Not only is factory-made mayonnaise disappointing, but in many cases, I would argue whether it really qualifies as mayonnaise in the first place.
I make fresh mayo every couple of weeks. It is easy to make, satisfying and delicious, whether for a tuna sarnie, on your salad or for dipping your chips!, This is probably my most regular recipe, though there are a lot of variations possible. In addition to the core ingredients, I add lemon and garlic to give it a little more depth.
Like most cooks, I use more than one oil; a lighter oil for bulk and a strong olive oil for flavour and fruitiness.
- 1 cup Rapeseed Oil - some basic variety
- 1 cup Olive Oil - This is unfiltered extra virgin
- 2 Eggs - Yokes only
- 2 tsp Cider Vinegar - Just something cheap
- Juice of 1/2 a Lemon - watch for pips
- 1 clove garlic - crushed into a paste
- Pinch of Sea Salt - finely ground
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard - Dijon just works so nicely
Making mayo is very easy, especially if you have some sort of hand whisk. Although it is simple to make by hand, though I strongly suggest a nice big balloon whisk, it can be hard work, and we are all lazy these days!
Basic mayo is just an emulsion of egg yokes and oil, normally with a little mustard and vinegar. It really is as simple as that, so anything else you add is for your own enjoyment, not because it is needed. Oh, you might note that there is no sugar in my recipe. It is not needed in mayonnaise at all, and yet commercial offerings are stuffed with it.
First of all, put two egg yolks in a large bowl with the teaspoon of Dijon Mustard. Beat them together quickly.
Now, place the bowl on a non-slip mat or rolled-up tea towel to stop it from sliding everywhere. The oil and eggs will emulsify much quicker if the oil is added in a steady stream. If you add it bit by bit, it will emulsify but will take forever. Adding in a stready, slow stream will initially seem crazy, but hang on in there and you will suddenly see it turning into a thick cream.
Sorry the photo doesn't show the oil being poured; I didn't have my tripod and ran out of hands!
Start with the rapeseed oil, and then move onto the olive oil. I have used half-and-half here, but if you want a lighter taste, then use more rapeseed and less olive oil.
By the time you have run out of oil, the mayonnaise should be thick and creamy and almost gelatinous.
Use a garlic press to create some garlic paste. This needs to be as smooth as possible because you do not want bits of garlic in the mayo.
Lastly, we need to add the vinegar and lemon. As a guide, I added two small teaspoons of cider vinegar and the juice of half a small lemon as I wanted it quite sharp - you may want to add less. Add it a little at a time, beating it with a whisk before tasting.
That is that. You can add some sea salt if you wish, but be careful as it can become unpalatable quickly. I often do not add any.
Put it in a nice jar and bung it in the fridge. It will keep quite a while, but to be honest, it tends to get eaten up long before it might go off.
Just as a final note, this is made with free-range raw egg. If you are worried about such things, you might want to make it with a pasteurised egg.