Makin’ Mayo

Today, my daughters cracked open a new jar of mayonnaise that we bought just a couple of days ago, and discovered the seal was cracked.

Which means it had been sitting in our cupboard, with the vacuum seal broken.

So, that got thrown out.

Since we weren’t about to drive into town just to buy a jar of mayonnaise, and I happened to have the ingredients, I made a quick batch.

This is an easy mayonnaise recipe from the home economics cookbook I got from when I was in junior high school – a cookbook that is still one of my most used, because it’s filled with basic recipes like this one.

Homemade Mayonnaise

I also have these handy little pint canning jars to use to store it, too. 🙂  Since this is an uncooked version, I sterilized them first.

mayonnaise ingredients

The ingredients are pretty basic; dry mustard, salt, paprika (that is the amount in the recipe; when I’ve made it in the past, I usually used just a pinch), a large egg, vinegar and oil.

While you can adjust how much paprika is used, to taste, the quantities of the rest of the ingredients should stay the same.  That doesn’t mean you can’t get creative, though!  I’ve made this using olive oil, and avocado oil can be used as well.  You can use one egg, or two egg yolks.  Instead of white vinegar, try another light vinegar, such as white wine vinegar.  I wouldn’t use a dark vinegar, such as balsamic, as it would be overpowering, but go ahead and try it, if you want.  I’ve even successfully used prepared mustard instead of dry (not the bright yellow kind, but there are a lot of flavourful Dijon mustards out there that will work quite well).

The important thing about making mayonnaise is in creating the emulsion.  The original recipe was written before electric mixers were common, and the instructions say to add the oil, one drop at a time, while beating vigorously until it thickens!  Even with an electric mixer, it’s important to add the oil slowly.  Just a thin drizzle.

The need to thoroughly beat in the oil, as it is slowly being added, requires a bowl that is small and deep.  I used my 4 cup measuring cup, because even the bowl that came with my stand mixer was too big for a single recipe.  If I had doubled it, it would have worked fine.

If you are using a blender, immersion blender or food processor, however, the blades turn so quickly, it emulsifies before you know it!  Just add the oil in a steady stream.

Here is the original recipe, with my modifications added in [brackets].


1 tsp dry mustard [can use equal amount of prepared mustard, such as a dijon]
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika [can be reduced to taste, or none at all for an almost white mayonnaise]
1 large egg or 2 yolks
1 cup salad oil [can be any vegetable oil, olive oil, or avocado oil]
2 Tbsp vinegar [white vinegar or any light vinegar of choice]

  1. In a small but deep bowl, mix spices and egg
  2. Add oil one drop at a time, beating constantly until and emulsion forms (mixture thickens). [If using an electric mixer, pour the oil in a steady stream no larger than a pencil.]
  3. Beat in 1 Tbsp vinegar and the remaining oil in larger quantities. [Using an electric mixer, you can add all the vinegar now, or after all the oil has been added.]
  4. Add remaining vinegar and beat vigorously. [Pour into sterilized container.] Refrigerate.


Hint: let the egg come to room temperature, first.

Note: if the emulsion refuses to form and “breaks” (one of the reasons buying mayonnaise can be preferred!), it might still be rescued.  Take an egg yolk and beat it in another small, deep bowl.  Then, slowly add the broken mayonnaise, a little bit at a time, while beating vigorously.

If that still doesn’t work… well… there’s always the grocery store! 😀

The Re-Farmer

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