Friday, April 27, 2012

making mayonnaise

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about, among other things, making my own mayonnaise.  Sam asked for the recipe.  It would have been very simple to just give you the recipe but I decided it would be more fun to wait until I needed to make it and then take a few pictures.

I began making my own mayonnaise probably about 15 years ago after a visit to my husband's grandmother, Mamie.  She made her own mayonnaise.  All of it.  I'm not sure she ever bought a jar in her entire life.  During this particular visit she happened to need mayonnaise while we were there so she assembled all of the ingredients and made it.  I was delighted to see how easy it was.  Homemade mayonnaise is so much creamier and more flavorful than store-bought, my family was hooked.

The recipe that I use is a modified combination of the recipe from Joy of Cooking (page 363 in my 1975 edition if you care to look it up) and the way that Mamie made it.  Quick, easy, and delicious; I make it all the time.

The ingredients are simple:

1 egg
3/4 t. dry mustard
1 t. sea salt
1 cup olive oil
3 T. tarragon vinegar

I confess that the tarragon vinegar doesn't look so hot in the bottle so I staged that by adding a few leaves of fresh tarragon to the pre-measured amount in a glass.  Tarragon vinegar is made by putting a bunch of tarragon into a bottle of white wine vinegar and letting it sit "for a while."  If you don't like tarragon, don't use it.  I have also made this recipe with raw apple cider vinegar when I didn't have any tarragon vinegar on hand.

The eggs are an issue for some people.  I'm lucky enough to have a friend that I can get fresh eggs from.  If I don't see her often enough I also have three farmer's markets where I can buy fresh, pastured eggs.  So I'm okay with the idea of using uncooked eggs.  It is, however, up to you.

Place the egg, 1/4 C. oil, salt, and mustard into a container.  Blend well.  I use a stick blender which I think is one of the best kitchen gadgets ever invented.  You can whisk this together if you don't have a blender however it takes a long time and when it starts getting really thick it's a bit of challenge.

When this is all well blended drizzle in another 1/4 C. olive oil and blend well again.  Then add the tarragon vinegar, blend well.  Add the remaining 1/2 C. olive oil slowly and blend well a final time.

The end result is a delicious, creamy mayonnaise.  It's a little thin at first but after it sits in the refrigerator it firms up quite a bit and is just fabulous spread on sandwiches, in dressings, or any other way you choose to use mayo.  My particular favorite is for tomato sandwiches.


MidnightAgenda said...

Goodness! I haven't made Mayo since cooking school!
I totally would make my own but we don't go through it fast enough and I know you're not supposed to keep it past a week. :/

Mira Dessy said...

We tend to go through ours fairly quickly but even so this recipe usually lasts two weeks in our house. I didn't know you weren't supposed to keep it past a week. Any particular reason? I know eggs are generally good as much as 4-5 weeks past their sell-by date at the grocery store and nothing else in the recipe would spoil, especially not if stored in the fridge.

Mira Dessy said...

Jennifer asked how it came out because she has never been able to get her mayonnaise to come out right.

I've been making it for years and haven't had a problem. My understanding is that if you make it in a thinner container (as compared to a bowl), it is easier to emulsify the ingredients to get them to stick together. I use the container that came with my immersion blender. The other is that you need to drizzle the oil in for that last cup. If you pour it in too quickly it doesn't blend well. It is messy drizzling oll into a thin container with an immersion blender in the way and some of the oil gets all over the blender but it works out and the end result is worth having to wipe down the blender.