Homemade Mayonnaise is very easy to make… as long as you don’t make the same mistake I did!
You can literally make mayonnaise in a couple of minutes with oil and an egg and some flavour enhancements like vinegar, mustard, salt etc.
I used to make it all the time so when I was preparing a huge noodle salad that would serve as our lunches for a couple of days I didn’t even blink when I realized I was practically out of mayonnaise. I just pulled out the blender and the ingredients and went to town.
My mayo wasn’t coming together… it was ‘broken’ as they say when the oil and the egg don’t emulsify into a smooth, creamy sauce. After a little head scratching I realized what had happened. So… I can help you avoid a couple of pitfalls.. because once the mayonnaise ‘breaks’ it takes more than a couple of minutes to repair it.
When I used to make mayo in the blink of an eye I always used my Oester blender. The kind with a small round bottom -maybe 4 inches across. The key is to blend the egg or egg yolk and then add the oil with the machine running in a thin, thin stream of oil. If you pour the oil too quickly it doesn’t have time to be absorbed and you don’t get the creamy consistency. When you can see the oil and the egg as separate ingredients – you have a broken sauce. But all in all, it is a pretty easy process because I had never had a problem before.
This time I was using my Vitamix… which I love for every other purpose except mayonnaise now! The base of the Vitamix is quite large… maybe 6 inches square. And the blade sits higher up. So… my egg was sitting below the blade and not being touched at all. I didn’t stand a chance in hind sight! I was just whipping the oil. The egg wasn’t incorporating any of the oil because it was all sitting below the blade.
Now I am on a quest to figure out how to save my mayonnaise. I can save you a bunch of time with what I found worked best. Instructions vary from – toss it and start over… to get another egg yolk and whisk in the broken sauce very slowly to emulsify it …to my favourite which was – start with a bit of water and whisk in the broken sauce. The repair is a manual whisking process and it takes a bit of time. You have to get it right in the beginning to get the proper emulsified texture. You can’t rush it or you will end up breaking the sauce again at any point you try to incorporate the oil too quickly.
Here is a link to a video where a chef shows you how to fix a broken mayonnaise with just a bit of water.
Some tips to get it right the first time:
- use an hand held immersion blender or make sure your blender base is small enough to actually work the egg and oil
- many recipes say to use room temperature eggs, add the salt and other condiments at the end. I didn’t find that either of these was necessary.
- start slow! You have to get the right emulsified texture right from the beginning. Don’t rush adding the oil because if you pour too fast the sauce can break at any time.
The ingredients below are for a basic mayonnaise. For the basic use a neutral oil such as Canola. You can use olive oil but it will be a heavier taste. This mayo will keep in the fridge for a week or so. The recipe below is geared to produce one cup of mayonnaise. The photos show a double batch.
You can have fun with this as well. If you are making it for a specific salad or sandwich filling you could use a flavoured vinegar, or add paprika or tarragon. If you add any fresh herbs I would add them at the very end.
Hopefully you will not be scared of homemade mayo. It isn’t significantly cheaper to make your own but if you ever run out in the middle of your meal prep it sure comes in handy to be able to whip up your own.