You'll be amazed at the bright flavor of homemade mayonnaise. This recipe is simple and fast to make with a blender or food processor. Variations are given for flavored mayonnaises as well.
But what exactly is mayonnaise? It is an emulsion of egg yolks, lemon juice or vinegar, vegetable or olive oil, and seasonings that are used as a condiment. Without egg yolks, this would be labeled salad dressing rather than mayonnaise.
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon sugar
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 4 to 5 teaspoons lemon juice or white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups olive or other salad oil
- 4 teaspoons hot water
- Whisk or Hand Mixer Mayonnaise: Beat yolks, salt, mustard, sugar, pepper, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice in a small bowl until very thick and pale yellow. (If using an electric mixer, beat at medium speed.) Add about 1/4 cup oil, drop by drop, beating vigorously all the while. Beat in 1 teaspoon each lemon juice and hot water. Add another 1/4 cup oil, a few drops at a time, beating vigorously all the while. Beat in another teaspoon each lemon juice and water. Add 1/2 cup oil in a very fine steady stream, beating constantly, then mix in remaining lemon juice and water; slowly beat in remaining oil. If you like, thin the mayonnaise with a little additional hot water. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Do not keep longer than 1 week.
- Blender or Food Processor Mayonnaise: Place yolks, salt, mustard, sugar, pepper, and 3 teaspoons lemon juice in blender cup or work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade, and buzz 15 seconds (use low blender speed). Now, with motor running, slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup oil (use moderately high blender speed). As mixture begins to thicken, continue adding oil in a fine steady stream, alternating with hot water and remaining lemon juice. Stop motor and scrape mixture down from sides of blender cup or work bowl as needed.
- Remoulade Dressing: Prepare mayonnaise as directed, then mix in 1 tablespoon each minced capers and gherkins, 2 teaspoons each anchovy paste and Dijon mustard, and 1 teaspoon each minced parsley and fresh chervil. Serve with seafood or use to dress cold vegetable salads or sliced tomatoes.
- Sauce Niçoise: Prepare mayonnaise as directed and set aside. Mix 2 tablespoons tomato purée with 2 minced pimientos and 1/2 clove crushed garlic. Press through a fine sieve and blend into mayonnaise.
- Russian Mayonnaise: Prepare mayonnaise, then mix in 1/4 cup black or red caviar, 1/2 cup sour cream, and 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill.
- Mustard Mayonnaise: Prepare mayonnaise, then mix in 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard.
- Curry Mayonnaise: Prepare mayonnaise, then blend in 1 to 2 teaspoons curry powder.
- Chantilly Mayonnaise: Prepare mayonnaise, then fold in 1/2 cup heavy cream, beaten to soft peaks.
- Fruit Mayonnaise: Prepare mayonnaise, then beat in 3 tablespoons each orange juice and superfine sugar, 1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind, and a pinch nutmeg. For added zip, mix in 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier or other fruit liqueur. Serve with fruit salads.
- Thin Mayonnaise: Prepare mayonnaise, then thin to desired consistency by beating in hot water, a tablespoon at a time.
Source: The New Doubleday Cookbook by Jean Anderson & Elaine Hanna (Doubleday). Reprinted with permission.