One Cup of Mayo, and Hold the Preservatives!

Whip up this tasty, fast, easy mayonnaise recipe once, and you may never go back to store-bought.

The first time I realized that mayonnaise could be made at home I was reading Chapter I, De Gustibus (regarding taste) in Craig Claiborne’s New York Times Cookbook. His recipe called for an egg yolk, salt, freshly ground pepper, Dijon mustard, vinegar or lemon juice, one cup of peanut oil and a whisk. I tried it and to my amazement, it worked! The chemistry in forming this emulsion is visually fascinating. But what a lot of effort. I was happy enough with my jar of Hellmann’s. It would be 27 years before I’d have another go at the homemade version.

In fact it was Barbra who encouraged me to revisit mayonnaise. Taking up her challenge, I made a cup of it, this time in a blender. Better than getting mayonnaise elbow with a whisk, but still… the old-school blender I used was a bother to clean. So the next time we needed mayonnaise, we went to Point Hope’s Native Store. $$$ for a six-ounce jar.

That was when we decided, finally, to invest in a good immersion blender – aka a stick blender. And now, I doubt we’ll ever buy a jar of mayonnaise again. The recipe below is quick, easy to clean up after, and results in a tasty, preservative-free, all-natural mayonnaise ready to be spread on a turkey sandwich, to serve as a base for anchovy-mayonnaise salad dressing, or to blend into deviled eggs.

1 cup Homemade Mayonnaise

Ingredients:

  • 1 large egg, as fresh as possible
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp white vinegar (we like rice vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • healthy pinch or two (1/8 teaspoon) salt
  • dash of white pepper or freshly ground black pepper, or both
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (or other vegetable oil)

Directions:

You will need a stick blender and a fairly narrow container such as a small canning jar, one just wide enough so that the stick blender fits.

  1. Place egg in a narrow jar or other container.
  2. Add lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper.
  3. Add olive oil.
  4. Push stick blender to the bottom of the container. Blend on high speed. (This depends on the blender. Ours gets the job done at a lower setting.) Within seconds, mayonnaise will start to form. As soon as you see this, gradually raise the blender to create more mayonnaise. Mix through top to bottom one more time thoroughly. The entire mixing process will take about 10 seconds.

This mayonnaise will keep in your refrigerator for about two weeks. The extra virgin olive oil and the Dijon give it a distinctive taste. For mayonnaise more like commercial brands, use canola or peanut oil and half the Dijon or a milder mustard.