Garlic Aioli - or Homemade Mayonnaise

Garlic Aioli and Mayonnaise

The idea of making your own mayonnaise or Aioli may seem daunting but I assure you after the first few times you will be an expert. It really is a simple process with one hurdle to jump.

These condiments are considered permanent emulsions (ones that will last) vs. the temporary emulsions like vinaigrette, that will separate after a period of time. 

There are plenty of ways to scientifically describe the process, but lets just say it's a suspension of one liquid in another, causing a thicker end result.  Any other additives are for flavor, or in the commercial products, for shelf life and stabilization. 

The simple trick is to add the oil or fat a few drops at a time in the beginning. Do this until the suspension in visible. This means you can start to see the thickening of the egg yolk. Once this has happened, it is much easier to add the remaining oil to create the proper consistency. 

The simple ingredients

Ingredients:
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp mustard powder (you can use mustard, just add it all half way through the process)
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • salt/peper to taste
This should yield 3/4 cup + of aioli 
Total time: 15 minutes

This is the base recipe for any product in the category. Use a vegetable oil for mayonnaise. Use olive oil for Aioli. Add 2 garlic cloves to make garlic Aioli. The possibilities are wide and experimentation with flavors is encouraged.


The separation
Start by separating your egg.  I use the yolk only in mine but I have seen others use the whole egg. 



 I find using a non-reactive bowl to make the aioli works best for me, but I don't think it's necessary. Many others suggest using a towel covered saucepan with the bowl placed on top to keep everything stable. I have never had a problem with this, but it sounds like a good suggestion if needed. 

Add the egg yolk, and 1/2 of the lemon juice, 1/2 of the vinegar, and all of the mustard powder to the bowl. Mix these ingredients well.





Very Yellow at the start

Next add a few drops (and only a few drops) of the oil to the egg mixture. Whisk briskly to combine. Keep whisking. I mean it, keep going. The oil will start to suspend in the yolk and get a little thicker and creamier.


Your aioli will lighten as you add more oil

Now add a few more drops of oil while you keep that whisk moving. Once again. keep going. As fast as you can. The mixture should start to get even thicker and creamier.


It's starting to suspend

At about the half way point of adding the oil, add the remaining lemon, vinegar. If you are using garlic, add that at this point also.



Once you have an emulsion started you can add more oil at one time, but I suggest doubling the amount each time you add. You should be able to slow down the whisk speed as it will become easier to combine once the process has started.

After you have accomplished this task successfully, it will be an easy task to determine the status of the emulsion process. That's the hurdle. You have to do it once correctly to know if you are doing it right. I know, it sound like circular logic, and it is.


You should notice the aioli will start off very yellow and lighten up as you add more oil and mix it in. 

When all the oil is in, add the salt and pepper to taste.

It may seem like too much work to make, especially when the grocery store stocks it in nice little containers on many shelves. 

The final product
But I assure you that after you have mastered this, your food quality will jump leaps and bounds. And guests will think you went to culinary school.

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