This recipe appears in:How to Assemble an Awesome Vegetable Platter The Food Lab: Homemade Mayo In 2 Minutes Or Less (Video)
Mayonnaise is an emulsion of oil and water—two liquids that generally don't get along. Classic technique will have you start by whisking egg yolks, a bit of mustard (for flavor and its emulsifying properties), a few drops of water, and some acid (either lemon juice or vinegar), then slowly slowly slowly trickling in a thin stream of oil as you continue to beat rapidly. The idea is to get the oil to disperse itself into tiny droplets as you whisk it.
Pour the oil too fast, and you end up not with a smooth, rich, creamy sauce, but with a broken, greasy, curdled-looking mess. About half the time I try and make mayonnaise with this method, it breaks and I'm forced to start the process over again.
The easy solution? Use a hand blender. With a hand blender you can add all of your ingredients—oil included—directly to the blending cup. Because it is less dense than the other ingredients, the oil will float at the top. When you subsequently stick the blades of the hand blender down into the cup, they'll be in direct contact with the egg yolk, water, acid, and mustard. Turn that blender on, and it creates a vortex, gradually pulling the oil down into the whirling blades.
In no time flat, you end up with a cup full of creamy, perfectly emulsified, real-deal, better-than-anything-you-can-buy mayonnaise.
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice (from 1/2 a lemon)
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
- Kosher salt
Place egg yolk, water, lemon juice, and mustard in the bottom of an immersion blender cup. Pour oil on top and allow to settle for 15 seconds. Place head of immersion blender at bottom of cup and switch it on. As mayonnaise forms, slowly tilt and lift the head of the immersion blender until all oil is emulsified. Season mayonnaise to taste with salt. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.