Eggnog- The Quintessential Holiday Beverage
Creamy, sweet, delicious eggnog, I love it and it’s been a part of my holiday repertoire for as long as I can remember. I make it with and without alcohol. I also use a cooked custard because there are children drinking this and don’t want to take any chances with raw egg. The recipe I started out with is Martha Stewarts from quite a few years ago. She did not cook the eggs. The recipe calls for separating the yolks from the whites, using the yolks in the base and whipping the egg whites with some sugar and folding it into the base. It’s frothy and creamy and sweet and really delicious. I have changed it over the years and no longer fold egg whites into my custard, I’ll save those for something else like angel food cake. After cooling the custard before serving I add a pint of vanilla ice cream or Haagen Daz makes an egg nog ice cream which is delicious. This is not a diet drink and it’s loaded with cream and sugar and is very rich. The final presentation is with lightly sweetened whipped cream on top and a generous grating of nutmeg. I usually make a very large batch using a dozen eggs, divide and add the alcohol to half and leave the other virgin. I like to use rum and cognac or brandy and in the non alcoholic version I add pure rum flavoring which I make myself by simply boiling some rum for 15 minutes to remove almost all of the alcohol. The recipe below makes a quart of egg nog base, add or deduct you really don’t need a recipe.
Makes 1 quart eggnog base
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
6-8 egg yolks (I use 8)
2 tsp vanilla extract
Place egg yolks and sugar in mixing bowl and either whisk or use electric mixer to combine the yolks and sugar until thick and pale yellow. Place milk and cream on stove and heat until scalding (not boiling) add half the hot milk/cream to egg yolks whisking constantly. Pour back into pan with the remaining milk, cook on medium heat stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. You are making a custard, check frequently when the custard starts to thicken by dipping the spoon in the custard, swipe a line on the back of the spoon and if it stays intact the custard is done. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and transfer to a heat proof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, it should sit directly on the custard and refrigerate at least 4 hours preferably overnight.
Making the eggnog
1 quart egg nog base
1 pint vanilla or eggnog ice cream (optional)
1 cup heavy cream whipped
fresh nutmeg grated
rum extract to taste
To make boozy egg nog omit rum extract and add rum or I like to add rum and cognac or brandy. You decide how much, I like to add 1/4 cup rum and 1/4 cup brandy.
Pour the eggnog base into serving container, whip the cream adding just a little sugar. Soften your ice cream and add in scoops to the eggnog, let it melt, it’s ok. Top with whipped cream and generous grating of nutmeg. If you don’t use ice cream divide the whipped cream and fold half into the eggnog base and top with the other half.