Getting a feel for making homemade mayonnaise has been an interesting experience. A bit frustrating at first, but fun once perfected. Now the saying, “harder than not breaking mayonnaise,” has become somewhat of a thing in our home.
So, first off, making mayonnaise is emulsification cooking. Therefore, as you’re mixing the oil into the egg yolks and other ingredients, you have to do so slowly and carefully. This is so that the mixture can maintain the consistency of mayonnaise. Breaking mayonnaise is when the oil is added too quickly/not mixed-in thoroughly. This allows the oil to separate from the rest of the mixture and become a liquid mess. There are ways to fix such a mess back into mayonnaise, but I must admit that I have never been able to successfully do so. I simply prefer to steadily get it right the first time.
Why Not Use a Blender?
Not many people realize the feel work that goes into the emulsification process of making mayonnaise. I know a lot of recipe books instruct to use a blender, but that wasn’t for me. Tried it once and never again. I’ve always been one to have a natural knack for mixing things. It’s an artform, so why deny myself the ease of using my own creative instincts? Then of course, there is always the added plus of reducing ones carbon footprint by choosing hand-power over electricity.
My first time making mayonnaise was rooted in the beginnings of our homesteading years. This was when we were trying to save money and reduce our waste, since we had no trash service and now a large mortgage to pay monthly. Not to mention trying to avoid the pains of searching for the nonexistent organic mayonnaise at our local grocery store.
We also had just started collecting eggs from our Silkie hens and wanted to be able to solely consume egg products from them. This was to be 100% sure that the animals providing us these eggs had healthy and happy lives. This was also before we had discovered Cristophe’s soy intolerance including his sensitivity to consuming eggs from chickens that were fed soy. At that time, we were mixing our own chicken feed from organic whole grains and lentils, which did not include soy. Now that we are not able to share our current home with chickens, we have luckily found a brand that sells humane, pasture raised, organic, local, and soy-free eggs. Next best thing for now, but chickens are a definite for our future homestead!
Notes on Egg Storage
Chickens lay eggs with a natural protective antibacterial coating covering the outer shell. This is why most of the egg-eating world, excluding Americans, do not need to refrigerate their eggs. The reason why Americans have been conditioned to do so, is because big agriculture uses factory farming processes that strip that natural protective coating from their eggs before they are sold. This means that their eggs are very susceptible to bacterial growth and becoming unsafe to consume sooner, especially if stored at room temperature. Therefore, they have made refrigeration a necessity for their products, and convinced the general population that all eggs need to be stored cold.
I bring this information up because temperature affects emulsification. So, for those of you not in America, or who collect your own eggs from your own healthy chickens, emulsify away! As for those of you who still buy washed conventional eggs that require refrigeration, I am sorry to tell you that you’ll have to wait the extra time for those eggs to come to room temperature first.
(Note: All organic and freshly ground/freshly juiced ingredients makes a huge difference in increased flavor and nutrition!)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea/mineral salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cane sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground peppercorn
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard seed
- 1 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Combine the (room temperature) egg yolks, vinegar, salt, sugar, peppers, and mustard into a small mixing bowl.
- Mix together using a hand whisk until well blended.
- Add one teaspoon of oil and beat vigorously into mixture until well blended.
- Repeat step three. You can increase the amount of oil added gradually during this process, but I prefer to maintain the addition of a little at a time in order to not risk breaking the mayonnaise. This is the part that requires gaining a feel for the mixing. You will notice the texture thickening and lightening in color. Stop once you have added half of your cup of oil.
- Next alternate between adding a few drops of lemon juice and more of the oil, while continuing to mix vigorously after each addition. Do this until all of the lemon juice and oil have been mixed in.
- Now you have mayonnaise! Store it in a covered container in the refrigerator for a cooler and firmer consistency.
Enjoy using your homemade mayonnaise in yummy dishes such as our chickweed potato salad pictured below!