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Almost Mayonnaise

This is adapted from Eliza Acton’s recipe for English Salad Sauce, written in the 1840s. While hers used double cream, the recipe below uses eight per cent fat fromage frais. The vote from the team when we were testing this is that it’s every bit as good as the original.

 Almost Mayonnaise

  Serves 4-6

 3 large eggs
 2 pinches cayenne pepper
 5 fl oz (150 ml) 8 per cent fat fromage frais
 4 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  Nutritional information:Per serving: 65 kcal, Fat 3.7 g, Saturates 1.1 g, Protein 6.1 g, Carbohydrate 1.8 g.
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This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Three.


First, place the eggs in a saucepan and cover completely with plenty of cold water. Bring the water up to simmering point and give them exactly 9 minutes from the time it starts boiling. Then cool them under cold, running water to stop them cooking any further. Now peel away the shells, cut the eggs in half and place the yolks only in a mixing bowl.

Add a tablespoon of cold water and pound the yolks to a smooth paste with a wooden spoon. Then add the cayenne pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt, and stir in the fromage frais, bit by bit, mixing it smoothly as you go. When it’s all in, add the vinegar, check the seasoning and add more if it needs it. If you think the mixture’s far too runny at this stage, don’t worry. Cover the bowl and leave it for a couple of hours in the fridge, after which time it will have thickened. (It should, in any case, have the consistency of thickish cream, rather than mayonnaise.)

Note: To make a low-fat Tartare Sauce, after chilling the Almost Mayonnaise, add 1 small garlic clove, chopped; ½ level teaspoon mustard powder; 1 dessertspoon lemon juice; 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley; 1 heaped tablespoon salted capers and 4 cornichons (baby gherkins), both chopped; and mix together.

Nutritional information
Per serving: 65 kcal, Fat 3.7 g, Saturates 1.1 g, Protein 6.1 g, Carbohydrate 1.8 g.


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