And then I decided to make it lacto-fermented, so that it would last in the fridge for six to eight weeks, just like store bought mayonnaise (fresh mayonnaise that has not been lacto-fermented lasts about five days). To make this mayonnaise, you will need a little bit of fresh whey, so check out this post first to learn how to make it. And why are lacto-fermented foods beneficial? They are not only probiotic (so you won’t need to buy that specialty, expensive yogurt – just make a sandwich with this mayonnaise and you’ll be set to go!) but they are more mineral and nutrient rich than other modern commercial varieties and lacto-fermentation was the traditional way to preserve foods before pasteurization and the Industrial Revolution. Plus, it’s easy and it will allow you to make nourishing condiments for your family, from home, that last weeks to months in the fridge, very inexpensively! Read this post for more information about the benefits of lacto-fermentation.
Please note, this mayonnaise does not taste like Best Foods/Hellmans. It tastes better. Best Foods is made with canola and soybean oils which have little flavor on their own, aren’t good for us, and just make a mild flavored spread that makes bread moister.
This recipe, on the other hand, is made with spicy, rich olive oil, raw apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice, I go back and forth) and just bursts with flavor. No longer is it just used to make a sandwich moist or to blandly bind ingredients together in a chicken salad, this mayonnaise is an ingredient on it’s own, with full flavor. It adds to the finished product rather than just being a medium towards something else. Though it takes a little time to get used to and to wrap your head around the concept of a flavor-full mayonnaise, we won’t be going back.
1 egg and 2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 Tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice
2 cups olive oil
1 Tablespoon whey
Fill the bowl of your food processor or blender jar* in hot water until the bowl is warm. Dry thoroughly.
In the warmed jar or bowl, process the egg and yolks for 1 minute.
With the machine running, add the mustard, sea salt and vinegar or lemon juice.
With the machine still running start adding the oil in a stream of droplets, continuing until you have used half the oil and the sauce is very thick. Do not stop processing until sauce has thickened. Thin out with lemon juice or vinegar, (add a little bit at a time, up to a tablespoon or more) add the whey in at this time, then continue on with the remainder of the oil. Season carefully with more salt, pepper and lemon juice or vinegar.
Decant into your storage container (I use a wide-mouthed, pint size jar) and allow to sit on your counter for 6-8 hours to allow the whey to begin the process of lacto-fermentation. Lid, and store in refrigerator. Will last 8 weeks or more!
You will never have trouble with freshly made mayonnaise if you have beaten the egg and yolks thoroughly in a warmed bowl before adding the oil, if the oil has been added in droplets until the sauce has commenced to thicken and if you have not exceeded the maximum proportions of 3/4 cup of oil per egg yolk [though Michael Ruhlman has some interesting things to note about mayonnaise in his book Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking - he contends that it is a basis of the amount of liquid, i.e. lemon juice or vinegar, or even a bit of water, to egg yolks, not oil. Very interesting! Okay, back to Julia . . . ]. A mayonnaise has turned when it refuses to thicken or, in a finished mayonnaise, when the oil releases itself from suspension and the sauce curdles. In either case, the remedy is simple.
Decant turned mayonnaise into a glass measuring cup with a spout that will allow it to be poured gently. Rewash your blender jar or processor bowl and blades in hot water so it will be warm and clean. Dry thoroughly. Add 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard and 1 Tablespoon of sauce and process until they cream and thicken together. Add in the rest of the sauce one teaspoon at a time at first, making sure each addition has thickened the sauce before adding the next. Add one teaspoonful at a time at first, then gradually by Tablespoonful until all the sauce has been combined.
I admit, about every third batch of mayonnaise I skip a step (like warming the bowl) thinking that I know what I’m doing, and then end up with turned mayonnaise and always have to fix it using these steps. They always work.
*Note – Julia loved making her mayonnaise in the food processor and despised the blender because the blender makes it harder to decant the mayonnaise. However, I have an enormous food processor (14 cup or something ridiculous – whatever the largest one that you can buy domestically is, that’s the one I have) and because of it’s large size, I can’t blend those three little egg yolks and one egg white because the blades don’t go quite down to the bottom, so I always make it in my blender. I’ve tried making it with a hand blender, but it turned and I ended up having to dirty my blender anyway to fix it, so I’ve just made it in the blender ever since. Since I only make it every six to eight weeks, it’s not a big deal to wash the blender.