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I know mayo isn’t the sexiest topic, and making your own seems time-consuming and esoteric, akin to knitting your own socks (which I have also done, and which was also totally worth it).

But you guys, just trust me on this one. Homemade mayonnaise is so much better. It tastes less like the weird tongue-coating brilliant-white stuff from the jar and more like its cousin hollandaise. It elevates a simple tomato sandwich to heretofore unforeseen heights. You’ll treat it like what it really is — not sandwich spread, but sauce. I went through an entire jar in a matter of days, standing in the kitchen with bread and tomatoes, watching the freak July thunderstorms.

Besides its unctuous, lemony deliciousness, though, is just watching the process of only two ingredients, egg yolk and oil, turn into something opaque and creamy. It is the weirdest bit of kitchen science I’ve done. The mayo actually gets thicker as you add more oil. Bizarre.

Basic Mayonnaise

Adapted from Alton Brown

Do yourself a favor and whip by hand. You could absolutely do this with a blender, a food processor, or an electric mixer, but I bet you’re going to be consuming a large quantity of this fat+fat mixture, and you should burn off as many calories as you can beforehand.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

1 egg yolk (use pasteurized eggs to reduce risk of salmonella)
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard (Alton uses dry mustard, but I only had grain on hand)
2 pinches sugar
2 teaspoons or so fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flavorless oil, safflower or corn

In a glass bowl, whisk together egg yolk, salt, mustard, and sugar.

Start whisking briskly, then start adding the oil a few drops at a time (seriously — take your time on this) until the liquid seems to thicken and lighten a bit (which means you’ve got an emulsion on your hands).

Once you reach that point you can relax your arm a little (but just a little) and increase the oil flow to a very thin stream. Once half of the oil is in, whisk in the lemon juice.

Continue whisking and adding oil until all of the oil is incorporated.

Leave at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours then refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Music to cook by: Je Veux Te Voir [Yelle // Pop Up]

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