This recipe has been tailored to accompany the Edible Learning Lab Teaching Kitchen collection of lessons. The simplified instructions make it an ideal recipe for young students. It is intended to accompany the lesson, Emulsify It.
Many people would consider mayonnaise a kitchen staple. Not only is it one of the most popular go-to condiments, it’s a key ingredient in so many old school comfort foods like potato salad, macaroni salad, tuna salad, creamy coleslaw, blue cheese dressing and so much more. It’s such a kitchen staple that we included a version of this recipe in our Modern Steader Pantry Essentials collection. The difference between that recipe and this one is the technique used to achieve emulsification. This recipe focuses on whisking the emulsification by hand, which may actually be easier and faster than making mayo in the food processor.
Once you’ve reached an emulsification you can add the remaining oil much faster, which will save you time and energy. With younger students, be prepared to have them tag-team this recipe so their little arms don’t give out on them.
The trick to this recipe is in getting a good emulsification, otherwise your mayo may break on you and become oily. And no one wants that. Below are a few tips to help if the students are struggling to emulsify the ingredients:
- Make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature. This isn’t always important, you can achieve a good mayo with a chilled egg straight from the fridge. But if the emulsification is difficult, using room temperature eggs can help. You can also try to wash the mixing bowl in warm water first to bring some subtle heat to the process which will help get all the ingredients at the same temp.
- Adding a little water can make emulsification easier. Sounds too simple, but a teaspoon or so of water “physically broadens the space between fat droplets, helping them stay separate (suspended)” — a necessity when forming an emulsion. This will also help create a slightly lighter mayo, which may work in your favor. You can also try working with a whole egg instead of just the yolk. The egg white will work similarly to the water in your emulsification.
- If your mayo never sets up (the emulsion never happens fully) there are ways to fix it without scrapping the whole thing. Set your incomplete mayo aside and rinse a clean mixing bowl in hot water and dry it. Add another egg yolk (room temperature), and a tablespoon of the mayonnaise. Beat with a wire whisk until the mixture thickens. Then bit by tiny little bit, beat in the rest of the sauce. Make sure each bit has been incorporated into the mayonnaise and thickened before adding the next bit. The additional yolk should help re-emulsify the sauce.