I have a confession to make. There are two condiments that I consistently buy and rarely make from scratch: Heinz Ketchup and Hellman’s/Best Food’s Mayonnaise. For this scratch cook, this is a travesty. The ketchup I have yet to make a scratch version of that comes close. But the mayonnaise I think I’m pretty darn near to a passable scratch analog of Hellman’s.
I grew up with Best Food’s mayo on the west coast and consider it the gold standard of store-bought mayo. While I love scratch aioli in all it’s forms, for everyday eating in tuna salad and on sandwiches, it just doesn’t taste right – to eggy and oil forward. Sometimes you just want what you grew up with.
But I have my own organic free-range chicken eggs, can buy high quality, cold pressed, organic oils of any kind, surely I can figure out a scratch mayonnaise close enough to Hellman’s to grace my scratch pantry?? What kind of zombi apocalypse prepper am I???
They key, it turns out, is very neutral flavored oil, like grape seed, and sugar. It’s probably sacrilegious to put sugar in mayo, but I’m doing it, and it tastes great. Lest you think I’m aces at developing these kind of recipes, know that the mayonnaise emulsion broke the first time I made it. Dammit! It took me hours to resurrect it. You should have heard the cursing! The culprit was an impatient cook that didn’t let her eggs come to room temp and added the oil to fast. Tsk tsk.
I made tuna salad with this mayonnase today and got zero complaints from the family, including me. Try it and see if it works for you. If you like your mayo more flavor-forward, feel free to ditch the sugar and replace some or all of the oil with olive oil.