A rich take on a holiday classic
The origin of eggnog is thought to be from medieval times with the ingredients adapting over centuries. According to food television personality Alton Brown, “Most culinary anthropologists believe modern eggnog descended from a thick, boozy, concoction called posset that was composed of hot milk and hooch enhanced with whatever spice the lord of the castle had on hand.”
This recipe calls for duck eggs, making you the lord or lady of the estate with the richest nog in the land. “Although bourbon is the modern nog spirit, rum was the liquor of choice in colonial days,” says Brown. These days, the choice is yours, rum, brandy or bourbon—or no hooch at all. Hot or cold, raise a cup to the history of eggnog.
- 1 cup cream
- 1– 1½ cups milk
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg or whole nutmeg shavings equivalent
- 3 medium-sized duck eggs separated
- ¾ cup organic sugar
- 12 ounces rum, brandy or bourbon, or to taste
- In a saucepan combine the cream, 1 cup of the milk, salt and vanilla, bring it to a bare simmer. Add nutmeg and stir often.
- In a medium bowl, combine the yolks and the sugar and whisk to combine. Whisking the yolks continuously, slowly ladle in ½ cup the hot milk and cream mixture. Whisk vigorously to avoid little bits of cooked egg. This will temper the eggs. Ladle in another ½ cup, still whisking vigorously. Do this until all the milk and yolk mixtures are well combined.
- Meanwhile, set up a bowl and strainer big enough to contain the yolk-cream mixture and place bowl into a larger bowl filled with a 50/50 mix of ice and water.
- Return the yolk-cream mixture back to the saucepan and stir it with a flat-edged spoon or heat-proof spatula over medium heat until the mixture thickens, a few minutes. It should coat the back of a spoon (you can take it as high as 165° if you want to measure). Pour it through the strainer into the bowl set in ice. Add the remaining milk and stir to combine and fully cool the mixture.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Combine 4 ounces of eggnog with 2 ounces of rum, brandy or bourbon; add more nutmeg to taste, then add ice and more gratings of nutmeg.
- makes about 2½ cups