Monday, July 25, 2011

Homemade Mayonnaise: You Can Make That Yourself?!

This started as mayo, and I tried to save it with some extra flavors.

I can't help myself. The inner Curious George creeps out when I learn that there are things that you can make easily, but that I grew up buying in jar or box form. One such product is mayonnaise. To be honest, we were not a mayo eating family growing up. Our loyalties were with Miracle Whip. But, after growing up, my taste buds replenished themselves enough to change my taste preferences. If you didn't know, your taste buds change every 7 years or so. So now instead of being fiercely loyal to one version of condiment, I can enjoy them both.

I first heard about making mayo from scratch on a Martha Stewart show. She was having a sandwich showdown with some famous guy and started to boast about how her mayonnaise was made from scratch. So I tried to search her site for how to do that. I didn't have any luck. Then, as I was reading Julie and Julia, by Julie Powell, she started to talk about her adventures in mayo making. She mentioned how easy it was, so I got even more curious. Now, I stumbled upon an amazing blog (via Tigress in a Pickle) called From Scratch Club, and saw a post about Aioli. I had no idea what aioli was, so I checked it out. That post drove me to take a deep breath and dive into the world of making mayo.

I had some limes on hand, instead of lemons, so I grabbed a lime, two egg yolks, and ground up some fresh salt and pepper. I didn't have any garlic scrapes to make the aioli, so I just went with plain old mayo, which is what Liz, who wrote the amazing piece, said would work just fine. I had heard that if you use straight olive oil, the mayo will taste just like olive oil; I decided to mix in some vegetable oil because I had some on hand. I figured it wouldn't be a strong flavor, and would tone down the olive oil flavor some. (Do not do this!)

My ingredients were all set up, and I started to pour in my thin stream of oil. Then I panicked in my mind because it sounded like water mixing up for a long time. I was beginning to wonder if I made a catastrophic mistake. But slowly, it thickened, and I felt a little brighter. Once I was finished adding the oil, I switched off the food processor and then I tasted it. It was awful! It tasted like vegetable oil, with a slight tang of lime juice. Trying to rescue my mayo, I grabbed some parsley that I had chopped finely, some onion powder, garlic powder, a touch of cayenne pepper, and folded them in. It tasted really great with the new flavors combined, but the dominant taste was still the nasty oil.
Lesson learned: always use really tasty oil when making mayo. I am going to try this again, once I have awesome oil to use.

I used my organic eggs for this. Lime juice, salt & pepper are ready, too.

My super thin stream of oil going into the processor.
This was a tricky picture to take!

This is when I felt relief because it got thicker.

The finished mayo. After I took out the blade,
some oil was pooled underneath. I just folded it in with the rest.
Added ingredients:
Fresh parsley, chopped fine
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Cayenne pepper (dash)

*I feel that it is important to mention that there are raw eggs used in making mayo. When raw eggs are consumed, you can increase your chances of becoming sick with a food borne illness. If you choose to make your own mayo, refrigerate it, and use it within a few days of making it.*


  1. I've been wanting to make mayo for a long time!! And hey... you got some practice with the veg oil. :) Sea Marie

  2. Hehehe, that's how I am trying to think of it. Failures are important to the learning process. Besides, it tasted great until the after-taste of the oil kicked in! I hope your mayo making experience is just as fun as mine was.