Cooked Yolk Mayonnaise
But there were still things I had no idea about making. Mayonnaise was one of those things. As a soon to be high school graduate I became interested in traditional food and avoiding processed foods. At the time I didn’t know “traditional food” was a thing. All that interest solidified into me devoting my first year of college to a food and agricultural science program. It was truly one of the most transformative, inspiring experiences of my life.
One of many things I learned was to make cooked yolk mayonnaise. The taste of that freshly made glistening yellow, garlicky spread was not something I would have associated with “mayo.” Commercial mayonnaise is a sad distant, rather ugly, cousin to the luscious mayonnaise that results when you combine delicious fresh eggs with high quality oil and seasonings.
Since then I have transitioned to making a raw whole egg mayo, but if you are just venturing into the land of homemade condiments this recipe is the place to start. You can make this mayo with a hand whisk in small batches. In my experience, it doesn’t keep more than five days in the fridge. Make it in small batches and I’m confident you’ll have licked the jar clean long before it’s gone bad.
Mayonnaise is an emulsion of yolk and oil that creates a silky smooth texture. Some people in my food program were concerned that because of characteristics of the fat mayo made with olive oil would not stay in emulsion. I haven’t had a batch of olive oil mayo not stay in emulsion. There have been few failed batches and none I can attribute to olive oil.
2 Egg yolks
1 1/2 – 2+ cups olive oil
2 tbs acid source, vinegar or lemon juice
Seasonings to taste
Our Seasoning base:
We also like to add…
A note about the eggs:
In the raw egg method you use a whole egg, but for this you will need just yolks. You can freeze or refrigerate your whites for another use like angel food cake.There are tough white membranes called chalazae that connect the yolk to the membrane around the shell; you should remove these. They have the texture of overly tough scrambled eggs and you don’t want them in mayo or anything else that should have a smooth texture.
Now that you’ve removed the chalazae, beat the yolks until smooth with a tablespoon of water per yolk in a small heavy bottomed sauce pan. Heat your yolk, beating continually, over medium low. Watch this close or you’ll have scrambled egg instead of creamy yolk. When the yolk just starts to get thick take it off the heat. Don’t stop whisking until the yolk has cooled to a touchable temperature. If you’re worried about scrambling the yolk have a bowl of water to sit the pan in when it comes off the stove. On the other hand, if you think it isn’t thick enough you can always return the pan to the heat. When the yolk cools enough that it doesn’t burn your fingers, whisk in the acid and seasonings. Get creative with your flavors! We make a garlicky one for sandwiches and a dill one for egg salad.
Supposedly, some crazy French guys emulsified a gallon of oil with just two egg yolks. I don’t entirely remember the story and should probably look it up. My point being, this recipe will make more mayo if you add more oil.
I usually make this by hand but you can use a blender. I’ve had bad luck making mayo in my food processor; it just doesn’t get a good emulsion so I stick with my cheapo blender.
The process is essentially the same with a blender. Add your yolk base to the blender, turn it on high and proceed with the recipe. It can take a worrisome amount of time to come together. Have faith friends, it almost always comes together. If you have a truly failed batch you can use runny mayo in potato or egg salads and no one will be any wiser. You can also try to salvage the batch by making a new batch of yolk mixture and slowly adding the failed batch to it as you would oil. Once you’ve added all the oil you want you’re finished.