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L.A. Times Test Kitchen tip: Quick blender mayonnaise

March 1, 2011 |  4:21 pm

Last week's story on gratins includes a recipe for a baby artichoke gratin with a filling thickened using an aioli, or garlic-flavored, mayonnaise. The recipe calls for a homemade mayonnaise, which -- delicate emulsion that it is -- can be intimidating for most cooks, experienced or not.

In addition to a traditional whisk/bowl/elbow grease method, I included a much simpler method for an immersion blender mayonnaise. I learned the method from Amy Scattergood when she wrote her excellent article on the art of homemade mayonnaise (her recipe also includes a method for using a food processor).

Although I was a little hesitant to try it initially, I was amazed at how easily the mayonnaise came together. Or how quickly -- an immersion blender took seconds, whereas using a whisk can take 10 to 15 minutes. It's even easier than traditional blender methods, since there's not that critical step of slowly adding the oil -- and no danger of the mayonnaise breaking up. It's been my favorite method ever since.

There's nothing quite like the flavor of fresh, homemade mayonnaise. And there's nothing like being able to whip up a batch in less than a minute. I include a step-by-step for reference after the jump.

If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an e-mail at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

-- Noelle Carter

Photo at top: Baby artichoke gratin. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times. Step-by-step photos below: Noelle Carter / Los Angeles Times

Step 1: Ingredients for a basic mayonnaise. Clockwise from left: salt, lemon juice, water, oil, egg yolks.


Step 2: Combine the egg yolks, salt, water and lemon juice in a 2-cup measuring cup. Stand the end of the immersion blender on the base of the measuring cup over the ingredients.


Step 3: Slowly pour the oil into the cup so it settles on top of the other ingredients.


Step 4: Ready to blend. You can see the oil resting on top of all of the other ingredients.


Step 5: Pulse the mixture until it begins to emulsify.  You'll see the mayonnaise emulsifying almost immediately at the bottom of the glass, by the blades. Continue to pulse for a second or two, first moving the blender, still pressed against the bottom of the glass, along the entire base of the measuring cup. Then gently plunge the blender up and down, incorporating the rest of the oil to finish the mayonnise, less than a minute.