Live Real. Eat Real.

Homemade Mayonnaise

We had a company meeting this morning, and our smart ass salesman asked “Who’s bringing donuts?”

Now, this is only funny if you consider the fact that out of the six people in our company, 3 are diabetic, 1 is pre-diabetic, and four of us are on The Diet.  Yes, we’re slowly but surely corrupting influencing those around us – my brother and sister-in-law have also jumped on the grain free/whole foods bandwagon.  With a great deal of enthusiasm, I might add.

We figured we couldn’t have a morning meeting without providing some sort of goodies, so I decided I’d provide MY kind of goodies – in the form of 4 dozen deviled egg halves, cubed ham (the last of Arnold), raw milk cheeses, cantaloupe and some organic grape tomatoes.  Which means Beloved and I spent last evening boiling and peeling pastured eggs (fresh eggs are an absolute bitch to peel), cubing ham and cheese and making mayonnaise.

I’ve talked a little about my mayonnaise snobbery before and even included a recipe as part of a larger recipe, but decided the subject needed a post all of its own.  I grew up in a typically Southern, mayonnaise-eschewing, Miracle Whip-loving household and to this day prefer some things with Miracle Whip (if I were to ever eat a bacon sandwich on white bread again, for instance).  It’s just one of those guilty pleasures.

I didn’t develop a real taste for mayonnaise until after my first marriage ended (my ex also being particularly fond of bacon sandwiches on white bread).  Now that I make my own I’ve become a complete mayonnaise snob, simply because even the highest quality commercial mayonnaise cannot compare in taste to a good homemade mayo made with truly quality ingredients.

Look at the jar of mayonnaise you have in your fridge.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.  It’s white, isn’t it?  If it’s a good quality mayonnaise, it might be kind of off-white.  My homemade mayonnaise is a lovely deep, lemon-yellow color – a combination of the deep orange yolks from the pastured eggs we buy and the light golden color of the olive oil I use.  (Note: I use “light” olive oil for mayo; extra-virgin just has too strong a flavor for mayonnaise in my opinion).  Now read the list of ingredients on the label.  It’s likely to say something like this:

Soybean oil, whole eggs, vinegar, water, egg yolks, salt, sugar, lemon juice, natural flavors, calcium disodium EDTA (used to protect quality).

Yikes – soybean oil.  Sugar.  Preservatives.  “Natural flavors” is a common industry euphemism for MSG.  Note that this is also the list of ingredients for Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise – the same mayo that their site claims is “Real. Simple. Made with eggs, oil and vinegar.”  No mention that the oil is highly refined from GMO soybeans or of the added sugar, preservatives and neurotoxins.  When I make mayonnaise, it has nothing but egg yolks, olive oil, white wine vinegar and a little lemon juice, mustard and salt.

Yes, the Hellman’s will last for quite a bit longer in the refrigerator than mine will…but this is a good thing?  Ummm, I don’t think so.  Nor am I worried about salmonella from eating raw eggs – the risk is almost non-existent with the fresh, pastured eggs  from a local farm (you can always use pasteurized eggs if you don’t have access to pastured eggs).

Make some real mayonnaise.  You can make it with as little as a single egg yolk and 1/2 cup of olive oil if you can’t use up a larger amount in a few days and if you have a stick blender, stand mixer or food processor it’s finished in about 3 minutes.

Note: I’ve gotten so used to making my own mayonnaise I don’t bother with the boiling water any longer – I’ve never had a batch curdle or separate (to be honest, I no longer warm the bowl on my stand mixer either).  Include the water if you haven’t made mayo before or if you want to thin it a bit.  And if you really want it to taste like Miracle Whip, double the vinegar and add a couple of teaspoons of sugar.  I won’t tell anyone.

Homemade Yumminess


makes about 2 cups

3 yolks at room temperature

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon dry or prepared mustard (I used a good Dijon)

1 3/4 cups light olive oil, vegetable oil or a combination of both

2 tablespoons boiling water

Warm the mixing bowl from the stand mixer in hot water; wipe dry and latch on to the mixer.  Place the egg yolks in the bowl and attach the whisk.  Beat for 1 or 2 minutes until they are thick and sticky.

Add the vinegar or lemon juice, salt and mustard. Beat for 30 seconds more.

Begin adding the oil by drops with a teaspoon, or rest the lip of the measuring cup on the edge of the bowl. Keep your eye on the oil rather than on the mayonnaise. Stop pouring and continue beating every 10 seconds or so, to be sure the egg yolks are absorbing the oil.

After 1/3 to 1/2 cup of oil has been incorporated, the mayonnaise will thicken into a very heavy cream and the crisis of potential curdling is over.  Beat in the remaining oil in a thin, steady stream.  If the mayo becomes too thick and stiff, beat in drops of vinegar or lemon juice to thin it out, then continue with the oil.

Beat the boiling water into the mayonnaise – more anti-curdling insurance. Season to taste.

If not using immediately, scrape it into a small bowl and cover it tightly so a skin will not form on its surface.

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Posted in participation of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday

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