Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52
Sounds like maybe there's a bit too much olive oil relative to the amount of egg yolk? (The size of even standard large egg yolks can vary so much!)
Try this tip from Amanda: Whisk your runny aioli into another egg yolk or two, just as you would with straight oil. It should thicken right up. Good luck!
Obviously "water" is the problem...
The ratio of eggs to oil was off. Also, when I use olive oil, opposed to another kind of oil it I use more to get the proper consistency. (why that is, is a mystery) In the end however a very slow and very steady drip is the most important factor for the aioli or mayo to come together.
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
I agree with all of the previous replies/solutions. But also consider the age of the eggs; have they been reposing in the fridge for a long time? For a mayonnaise you should be using the freshest eggs available.
June is a trusted source on General Cooking.
I am not familiar with Alice Waters' recipe, but I'm happy to share my recipe that always works -- just make sure your ingredients are at room temperature. Nothing screws up a mayo recipe like cold eggs:
Makes 2 cups
1 tablespoon fine, dry, unflavored breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
6 garlic cloves (I de-germ mine)
3 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Soak the breadcrumbs in 1 tablespoon of wine vinegar for 5 minutes, then squeeze the crumbs dry in the corner of a towel. Discard the vinegar.
2. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, finely chop the garlic, then add crumbs amd combine with garlic to make a smooth paste. Add egg yolks and all the other ingredients except the oil and combine. Scrape down sides. Now, with the motor running, add olive oil in a slow, steady stream. When all the oil is in, you have aioli. Voila!
counter to my own and most peoples intuitions, its usually the emulsion needing more oil that makes it runny, try adding more oil gradually and you should see it thicken up. Remember, each egg yolk can emulsify 125 grams of oil. Also color can be an indicator. if its still bright yellow you definitely need more oil
I suspect your mixture has fallen out of emulsion and that is why it is watery. I've had mayos that I though I had fully emulsified appear much too runny at the final stage, as the emulsion had broken. I always fix this by doing what Kristen suggested and starting with a new egg yolk and slowly whisk in your runny aioli.
There are two factors which make this less stable than a standard mayo recipe: all olive oil and no acid (I'm assuming you're making my first google result, http://www.care2.com/greenliving...#) You could either add a little lemon juice (or just don't add the water, which may be quite basic depending on where you live) or substitute out half the olive oil for a neutral oil, or just be really careful when emulsifying not to add too much oil at a time.
I will politely disagree with Brandon on one point, and one point only: I really want to develop that bright yellow color for eye appeal. And for that reason I use locally raised, farm fresh eggs that have been pecking around eating bugs and stuff. I also fool around with goose eggs and duck eggs and will use saffron to enhance the color of the aioli if needed. And it tastes better too.
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