Handmade Mayonnaise Without Fail

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Mayonnaise is one of those homemade staples that most people end up buying at the shop, much to the detriment of their health. Mayonnaise is best made with monounsaturated oils, and these are too expensive for most processed food companies to use, and as a result, even the organic brands of mayonnaise are made from polyunsaturated rubbish like canola and sunflower, and contain preservatives.

Animal fats can be used in mayonnaise, but when it’s refrigerated the consistency will be too solid, so you may need to bring it to room temperature before using. Melted bacon fat is wonderful in mayonnaise, especially for potato salad, but for the best consistency I like to use macadamia oil. Olive oil is mostly monounsaturated, but its flavour is too strong for mayonnaise.

Most mayonnaise recipes are made in a food processor, but I make mine by hand, this means less washing up, and that it’s easier to make smaller batches.

You will need:
a medium or large mixing bowl
a whisk or fork
a tea towel
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon lemon juice (or 2 teaspoons vinegar)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons water
1/4 teaspoon of raw honey (optional)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard (optional)
a few grinds of black pepper
macadamia oil or avocado oil, around 1/3 to 1/2 a cup
salt, to taste
anything else you’d like, e.g. capers, chipotle powder, fresh herbs, chopped pickled cucumbers, garlic…

Start with the freshest egg yolk you can find, from a healthy pasture-fed chicken. It’s best to keep eggs in the fridge if you’ll be using them raw. Whisk together the egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, water, honey, mustard and pepper and pinch or two of salt in a bowl with at least 1 litre capacity.

Make a nest with the tea towel on the bench, and put the bowl in it, tilted to the side by around 45 degrees, make sure the bowl is secure enough that it won’t move while you’re whisking in it – you won’t have a spare hand to hold onto the bowl. Start whisking and while you’re whisking very slowly drizzle in a tiny bit of the oil and make sure it’s fully mixed in before adding any more.  Continue to add oil in a thin stream until you think there’s enough in there, after you’ve finished adding the oil, continue to whisk for 30 seconds or so. Taste the mayonnaise, and add any extra salt or flavourings.

Homemade mayonnaise will thicken in the fridge. It will keep for around a week.

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