Emulsion is the art of blending two different liquids that normally do not mix. In this instance, eggs and oil for mayonnaise. Emulsifying is tricky. I have had several disasters before mastering the delicate procedure. To my knowledge, there are three ways to emulsify eggs and oil to create mayonnaise. One is by hand. I have not tried this. It requires much more patience than I possess, and very strong wrists, as the oil must be stirred vigorously into the egg mixture. The second is with a food processor, and the third with a blender. Personally, I use a Vitamix for quick performance, though this recipe may be used with other blenders or food processors.
Homemade Mayo Ingredients
• 3 eggs
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp mustard
• 1/4 cup lemon juice
• 1 1/2 cups oil
That’s it. The steps are simple: First, add three eggs to the blender, along with ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp dijon mustard, and ¼ cup of lemon juice.
Next comes the fun part! If using a Vitamix, be on your toes. Any other blender or food processor is a bit more forgiving, but the friction heating of the Vitamix can destroy your emulsifying efforts in a blink of the eye. Believe me, it’s frustrating! Steadily turn the speed on, going from low all the way to high.
While the motor continues to run, dribble the oil very slowly into the egg mixture. You will need 1-1/2 cups of oil. My favorite is cold-pressed safflower oil, but when I’m feeling experimental I will use other blends such as olive oil or Avocado oil, as pictured.
As the liquid thickens, you may pour at a faster rate. Once the motor slogs, dump the rest of the oil in as fast as possible and shut off the machine. Look inside. You should have a creamy mixture with streaks of oil on the surface.
Carefully spoon the mayonnaise into a jar, scraping down all the sides and around the blades, stirring in the remaining oil. Don’t worry if it is a little runny, the mayonnaise thickens as it cools in the fridge.
Surprisingly, we (a family of two) normally consume the two cups of mayonnaise within a month, before it goes bad. Fuzzy greenish-to-grey mold growing on the surface is a good indication of expiration.
Below, you will find a few tips for troubleshooting as well as a disclaimer on using raw eggs.
If liquids are overly mixed, they will not reform into a unified blend. You will know if this has happened if you have a yellowish liquid with white chunks. Don’t distress. Use this mix as a base for cold pasta salads and start over. Third time is a charm. You will need a couple of practice rounds to get the hang of pouring the oil. You must start the pour VERY slow.Then increase the rate as the liquids are blending. As I stated earlier, the Vitamix can be especially challenging.
Be mindful of your source of eggs, as you are consuming a raw product. If this is a concern, pasteurize the eggs before adding them to the blender. To pasteurize, place whole eggs in a saucepan of water. Raise the temperature to 140 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 minutes; do not go above 142 degrees. Remove the eggs and rinse thoroughly with cold water. I only use the freshest eggs, 100 feet from the nesting box to my kitchen, so I do not bother with the pasteurization. Choose your risks wisely.
Goodbye store-bought mayonnaise. Hello goodness.
Lyndsay Dawson Mynatt is a dedicated forager, outdoor enthusiast, and blogger for MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Her published articles include: Build a DIY Cider Press in the 2015 September/October issue of GRIT and 5-Minute, 5-Ingredient Mayonnaise in the 2015 Best of MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Follow her adventures at A Faithful Journey, and read all of Lyndsay's MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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