September 1, 2015

French Mayonnaise

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This decadently rich, thick, classic mayonnaise absolutely proves you do not need to laboriously, drop by drop, hand-whisk homemade mayo. The one and only Julia Child herself used a food processor. Though her method is not exactly child's play, it is pretty reliable. Adapted from Mastering The Art Of French Cooking: Volume 1. (Check out this simply miraculous alternative: Minute Mayo. The whole story: How to make the best homemade mayonnaise and aioli.)

1 large egg + 2 large yolks, at room temperature
3 to 4 tsp (15 to 20 mL) lemon juice, to taste
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dijon mustard
1/2 tsp (2 mL) or more kosher or sea salt
2 cups (500 mL) canola oil
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) ground white pepper

In bowl of food processor, blend egg and yolks 1 minute at low speed. Add 1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice, mustard and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt. Pulse once. With machine running on high speed, drizzle in oil in steady stream of droplets, not stopping until about half the oil is used and mayo thickens.

Add 2 tsp (10 mL) lemon juice and pepper. With processor running on low, drizzle in remaining oil in slow, steady stream. If desired, add remaining 1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice. Adjust salt. Pulse once to blend.

Use immediately. Or transfer to small storage tub, cover and refrigerate.

Makes 2-1/4 cups (550 mL).

  • You could make this in a blender. However, Julia Child didn’t like using a blender because it’s too hard to scrape out the mayonnaise. I agree.
  • Eggs separate best when cold, but whip best at room temperature. Put them in the bowl of the processor and wait.
  • Any neutral, refined oil will work. Avoid extra virgin olive oil. The vigorous rotation of the blades can quickly turn extra virgin olive oil bitter. (Why? See "Avoid Bitter Disappointment" in my Minute Mayo blog.)
  • You can store homemade mayonnaise in the fridge up to 4 days.

French Aioli
With machine running, toss 4 cloves garlic into food processor to chop. Then carry on with eggs and rest of recipe.

Tested in Imperial