Monday, August 11, 2008

Julia Child's Mayonnaise

Sun 10 August 2008

After the salt and pepper squid we were left with two egg yolks. What to do? Custard? Hmm, that wouldn't involve the KitchenAid ... so I hit upon the idea of mayonnaise. As Champaign Taste is hosting an event in honour of Julia Child's birthday, I thought I should use her recipe, from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Mayonnaise is a simple enough thing to make. You either need a sturdy piece of beating equipment or a very strong right (or left) arm. Fortunately, with the mechanics of the whipping sorted all you need is patience.

Child's recipe begins with three egg yolks, and as I only had 2 I adjusted the other quantities down.

Begin by beating your room temperature egg yolks until they are thick and sticky. Then add 3 teaspoons of white wine vinegar, some salt and just under a quarter of a teaspoon of dry mustard powder. Keep beating.

Keep beating. Now start adding your oil. I use a mix of extra virgin olive oil and sunflower oil. If you are using a lighter olive oil, and depending on your taste, you need not use a blend. Add the oil a drip at a time and every now and then pause to ensure the oil is being incorporated.

Basically, you keep going like this and the mixture continues to thicken up. Once it's starting to look like a cream you can add the oils in tablespoon type measures - and, if you're beating by hand, you can have a little rest.

Eventually, the mayo will properly thicken up. At this point, you can add some more vinegar or lemon juice to let it down, and you can adjust the seasoning with some extra mustard powder. Child suggests adding a couple of tablespoons of boiling water to prevent the sauce splitting.

More oil and beating required!

If you're impatient (like me) and you stop the beating in of the oil too soon you will end up with a more saucy version of your mayonnaise. Mine was almost hollandaise consistency, which suited me perfectly.

The mayo was great with steak and chips (well, really, how could it go wrong?) and used as a dressing on a salad was absolutely gorgeous!

Do be careful not to overdo the extra virgin olive oil, as it can give the mayonnaise a very strong taste. Tasting all the way through should allow you to adjust the oil balance as required.

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Blogger Lisa said...

Alex, this is lovely. What a great use for leftover egg yolks! Thanks so much for participating in the JC birthday event. Look for the roundup on Friday the 15th.

12:48 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

Homemade mayo is one of those things which is just far superior to the shop bought version!!! And if you can cheat & use a food processor it's not that difficult either!

8:30 pm  

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