DIY: Mayonnaise and Nut Crackers

In preparation for our trip to the lake this weekend, I wanted to try some new recipes – specifically, mayonnaise (the last little bit of our store-bought jar ran out earlier this week) and some nut crackers.

First, the bad news. The mayo was a breeze to make (I followed the instructions on MDA, but they look like they’re based on Shirley O. Corriher’s recipe in Cookwise – MDA forgot to omit the sugar from the recipe instructions! Sidenote: it must be frustrating to be a recipe author. The internet has made it so easy to separate authorship from recipes!). Anyway, it has a beautiful yellow colour and nice texture, but unfortunately it’s got a very distinctive bitter taste. At first I thought it just needed some sugar, so I stirred in a teaspoon of agave syrup, but it made no difference.

So then I turned to Google and it turns out this is a common problem when making mayo with olive oil. The best explanation I have found is that using a blender or food processor messes with the molecular structure of the EVOO and spreads nasty bitterness throughout. Boo urns. So — I’ll be trying to figure out a way to mask that bitterness and salvage this sad excuse for mayo, hopefully rendering it somewhat palatable!

Now, the good news. I made these primal nut crackers using mostly pecan meal and  some sesame seeds. For spices I used the recommended dill and then threw in a 1/2 teaspoon of onion power and about the same of granulated garlic, plus a bit of salt. Added the egg and EVOO, mixed the thing with a fork, and the dough came together quickly and easily. Then I rolled them out – they took up a whole half-sheet pan, and I probably could have rolled them out even more thinly, using two sheets. Then I scored them into one inch squares and baked them as recommended. Once they had cooled a bit, I broke them into the squares and they came apart easily and cleanly.

They turned out quite nicely! They’re not tasty salty enough that I’d be at risk of eating them like chips, but I think with some cheese (goat or brie, maybe?) and maybe some fruit on the side they”ll be delicious. I think this is a recipe I’ll experiment several times with to get the right blend of flavours. Another option is to sub some flax meal for part of the nut flour.

I really love that I know exactly what is in them – none of the non-food ingredients you find in storebought crackers. And they were way easier to make than I thought – hands-on time was maybe 5 mins?

I also want to try the sesame/almond crackers from Elana’s Pantry. They look awesome too – I love sesame!

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