Learn how to make mayonnaise and aioli from scratch! It comes together in just minutes and is so much better than anything sold in a jar.
When I read Julia Child’s My Life in France, I was struck but how often she spoke of homemade mayonnaise and her attempts to perfect it for the sauce chapter in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I was extremely curious, having never made it myself.
It’s incredibly easy. She has instructions for making it by hand as well as with the food processor. These days I use the food processor, which takes around 5 minutes.
However, I highly recommend trying it once by hand to get an understanding of how egg emulsions work. And there’s something very satisfying about hand crafting a sauce. I find it easier to control the consistency, though it’s messier and more time consuming.
What is the difference is between mayonnaise and aioli?
As far as I’m concerned, they’re basically the same thing; aioli just has a fancier name and some mashed garlic paste. I’m sure some will argue with me. Aioli also sometimes has additional flavors added in. I often see recipes for homemade mayo that use canola oil, which will work, but I prefer how it tastes with regular (not extra virgin) olive oil. So I make mayo and aioli using exactly the same method. You do you, I do me.
If possible, please use pasteurized eggs with this recipe. They’re safer. Jeff got horrible food poisoning once from farmers market eggs, so I’m now only comfortable purchasing them from grocery store brands with the official pasteurized stamp.
I learned a great trick from one of my teachers. Most food processors have a tiny hole in the lid pusher. If you add the olive oil into the tube, it will hit the mayonnaise at just the right speed. Keep refilling as the oil empties until you’ve used everything.
Then give it a taste test for consistency and flavor. Adjust spices as needed, adding more lemon juice or some water if it’s too thick. You can also get creative at this point, adding cayenne, roasted garlic, pesto, Sriracha, or whatever strikes your fancy!
This will last about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
- 2 large egg yolks (preferably pasteurized)
- 1 large egg (preferably pasteurized)
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice (white vinegar will also work)
- Kosher salt to taste
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 1 clove garlic, grated into a paste with a microplane zester (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups regular olive oil (see notes)
- Add the egg yolks and whole egg to a food processor and turn the machine on, pureeing for approximately one minute.
- Turn the machine off and add the lemon juice plus a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the garlic, if using. Puree for another 30-60 seconds.
- With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until completely emulsified. The sauce should be thick and pale in color. If the funnel-shaped food pusher that comes with your food processor has a small hole in the bottom, the olive oil can be poured through the top. That will allow the oil to be added at the perfect speed.
- Once the oil has been added, taste and add more salt and pepper to taste if desired. This is also a good time to add additional flavors such as cayenne pepper, Sriracha, pesto, etc.
- This will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, but is best enjoyed within 1 week.
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