The secrets to making a good mayonnaise are to have egg yolks and oil at room temperature, and to drip the oil very slowly into the yolks at the beginning of the process.
Use this as a base and add your favorite flavorings, such as garlic, dill or mustard seeds.
Whisked by hand, this takes about 5 minutes. But if you have a food processor, that's the way to go.
This recipe calls for raw egg yolks. If you are concerned about the risk of salmonella, buy pasteurized eggs, available in select supermarkets.
Make Ahead: Mayonnaise (without flavor additions) can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Servings: 1.5 cups
- 2 large egg yolks, preferably organic and at room temperature, or more as needed (see NOTE)
- Pinch powdered mustard, such as Colman's brand (may substitute 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard, such as Maille brand)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 1 cup sunflower or safflower oil, or a combination of 3/4 cup safflower, 1/4 cup olive oil, at room temperature
- 1 to 2 tablespoons boiling water (optional)
Combine the egg yolks, powdered mustard, salt and white wine vinegar in the bowl of a food processor. Measure the oil into a liquid measuring cup that has a spout.
Process the egg yolk mixture until smooth and well combined. With the motor running, add the oil drop by drop for about 10 seconds, then in a slow, thin drizzle until you hear and see the mayonnaise forming.
(Alternatively, combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Whisk with one hand continuously while you drip the oil into the bowl drop by drop. Within a few minutes the mixture will begin to thicken. Once that happens, add the oil in a slow, thin drizzle until all of it is used and a thick, creamy mayonnaise has formed.)
If the mixture seems to curdle or become quite thin all of a sudden using either technique, add an extra yolk or 1 to 2 tablespoons of boiling water, a teaspoon at a time, until the mixture emulsifies.
Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid; use right away, or cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
NOTE: Wondering what to do with leftover egg whites? Freeze them individually in ice cube trays, then store in a freezer-safe plastic food storage bag for up to 1 month. Use them for egg-white omelets, meringues and pavlovas, angel food cake, macaroons, marshmallows, seven-minute frosting or baked Alaska; or add them to the milk in onion ring batter to make the coating crispier.
Adapted from "Forgotten Skills of Cooking," by Darina Allen (Kyle, 2009).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.