Some of our most common convenience foods are close (or not-so-close) versions of their homemade counterparts. In my opinion, mayonnaise is in this category. Especially when you use some extra-light olive oil and the sweet juice of Meyer lemons, it stands head and shoulders above store-bought.
Mayonnaise isn’t difficult to make, but it is exacting. Your ingredients need to be at room temperature, and you must add the oil in as thin a stream as possible. A food processor gives me the most consistent results. Some people can get theirs to work using a blender or immersion blender. Whenever I’ve used my blender, the mayonnaise wouldn’t thicken. When I’ve used my immersion blender (in a wide-mouth quart jar) it’s always failed the first time and I’ve had to re-work it.
If you don’t have a small hole in your food processor feeder tube, you’ll need to manually pour it tin. Two tips that make this easier: One, pour 2 cups of oil from a quart measuring pitcher so the pouring angle is steeper and the oil is less likely to run down the side of the pitcher than with a smaller container. Two, place a funnel into the food processor tube or blender so you have a larger target for the thin stream of oil.
You can use regular lemon juice, but Meyer lemon juice makes the mayonnaise nicely sweet. Meyer lemons are available in late winter through spring. They’re rounder, yellower and smoother skinned than regular lemons. I like to buy extras when they’re in season and freeze the juice to use later.
For the oil, “extra light” refers to the taste, not fat content. Bertolli is one brand I’ve used. You can mix in some full-flavored oil as in this recipe, but for mildest mayonnaise, use only the extra light.
|Meyer Lemon Juice and Olive Oil Mayonnaise|| |
- 4 large or 5 small egg yolks
- 3 to 4 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice (or regular lemon juice)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or omit lemon juice and use 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar only)
- 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup regular olive oil
- 2 cups extra light tasting olive oil
- Separate egg whites and yolks. (If you wish, place whites in a small container, cover, and refrigerate or freeze for other use, such as to add to scrambled eggs.)
- Place egg yolks and lemon juice in bowl of your food processor fitted with the metal blade. For best results, allow 30 to 60 minutes for eggs to come to room temperature.
- Add the dry mustard, salt, and 1/4 cup of the regular olive oil, and process 2 minutes. With processor still running, pour remaining 1/4 cup regular olive oil into the small pusher tube (the insert with the tiny hole), and allow the oil to drip into the bowl.
- Continue to add oil to the pusher tube, 1/4 to 1/2 cup at a time, until all the oil has been incorporated.
- Place mayonnaise in a quart jar or two pint jars, cover, and refrigerate.
- To rescue "broken" mayonnaise: If your mayonnaise doesn't thicken or loses its thickness, transfer it to another container and start over with an empty food processor bowl. Place another 2 egg yolks, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 tablespoons oil in the bowl. Process for 2 minutes, then pour in the runny mayonnaise in as thin a stream as possible.
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