Speaking of industrial agriculture, I've read enough to know that my innocent-looking jar of packaged mayonnaise is full of stabilizers, preservatives and synthetic "things" to keep it indefinitely shelf-stable, perfectly thick and consistent from jar to jar and pretty much immortal even after opening. I mean, tasty? Yes. But weird? Also, yes. So whenever I can treat myself a little more wholesomely by making something with real, fresh ingredients and avoid all that junk I don't understand, well, I relish in that opportunity.
I will say, fresh mayo only lasts about 3-5 days, so I like to make it when I need a good amount, like for a group picnic, a batch of pasta salad or my homemade ranch dressing. If I don't have plans for mayo other than a tablespoon here and there on a few sandwiches during the week, then I stick with the store bought, which, as mentioned, lasts seemingly forever. So, that's my balancing act of idealism and realism. Now, let's get on to the recipe.
Oh, and one more thing....method here is as important as the ingredients. I'll explain...
Makes about 1 cup
1 Egg yolk (ideally - farm fresh organic)
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice or mild vinegar
Pinch of salt
1 cup light extra virgin olive oil
A few notes about the ingredients:
- Mustard Powder - you can use Dijon mustard instead, but I find the powder lends a depth of flavor without lending a distinctively Dijon flavor.
- Fresh Lemon Juice - For a classic mayonnaise, a mild vinegar, such as white wine or rice vinegar can also work but I find the lemon juice blends best. If you want to create a bold mayo with unique flavor, feel free to try Champagne, white balsamic or red wine vinegar to kick it up a notch.
- Light Extra Virgin Olive Oil - to me, hands down, this is the best neutral oil to use for homemade mayo. I've tried grapeseed, canola and safflower but I always taste the oil and it's not pleasant. Light EVOO totally disappears and I love it.
Wide mouth mason jar
I've tried making mayo a lot of different ways. A food processor is too big to emulsify one egg yolk, and two egg yolks with two cups of oil is just way too much mayo, even for me.
I've tried using a blender, but unless you have one of those super expensive blenders and are making a double batch, it doesn't quite do the trick either.
I've tried using an emersion blender in the mason jar, but it didn't allow the oil to get to the egg yolk. There is a full egg method that works well (use the whole egg, put everything in the jar together, put the emersion blender right at the bottom of the jar and turn it on for 15 seconds or so then pull it upwards slowly until the mixture is blended.) Honestly, the texture of the egg white in the mayo skeeves me out. It also makes a looser texture that I don't enjoy. So, while this method is by far the easiest, it's not quite mayo in my mind. (And, as stated previously, I'm picky)
So, I've come to rely on these few tools. First, a small whisk. I share this photo to show what I mean by small. Not mini. Not regular. But small. Should fit and move around easily inside the mason jar but also be in charge of the situation. Kapeesh?
As for the mason jar, I find that I can just whisk in the jar more easily than a bowl. The sides help keep the jar in place and allows me to whisk fairly vigorously, which also helps with the emulsification process. If you don't have one, then use a small bowl instead. You can roll up a kitchen towel, then shape it into a circle and rest the base of the bowl in it to help hold it in place.
Jeesh! So many details! I promise, with all that said, everything else is really quite simple. So, let's get to it.
Start by whisking the egg yolk, mustard powder, fresh lemon juice and salt together in the mason jar. Measure the oil into the squeeze bottle.