Thursday, November 13, 2014

Easy Homemade Eggnog

 Ok so you have a bunch of family coming over for a holiday meal, and several of them just don't think its a holiday, without eggnog.  But you just swung by the grocery store and the eggnog shelf is empty!   What do you do?  Well, eggnog may seem like a fancy, complex beverage.  But the truth is, its shockingly easy to make at home.   And with ingredients that most people already have in their kitchen.   The best part is, if you know HOW to make it, you will never run out!  You are far more likely to find the ingredients in any store, than you are to find the drink already prepared.   Especially during the holiday season.   And its hard to find any other time of year, so it can come in handy to be able to have it whenever you want.   It does require a lot of eggs though, so I would advise you to stock up on those.   But when you are finished here, you will almost have a gallon...  And of course, bragging rights!

12 Whole Large Eggs   
1-½ Cups Granulated Sugar   
½ teaspoons Salt   
2 quarts (8 Cups) Whole Milk    
2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract    
(this is a kid-friendly recipe, but you can add some bourbon to taste, for the adults if they like it)  
1) In a heavy 4 quart saucepan, with the heat off, whisk the eggs and salt until well blended. Gradually stir in half of the milk. 
2) Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 25 minutes. (Mixture should be about 170 – 175 degrees F). Do not boil. 
3) Pour custard into a large bowl (if you have a fine mesh wire strainer, pour it through that, it will take out any small lumps for a smoother drink). Stir in vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg and the remaining milk. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, about 3 hours. 

TIPS:  You can serve with extra whipped cream on top and a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg.  Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days.   

Want a great holiday dessert?  Simply skip the eggs and boiling, use heavy cream in place of milk, bump it up to 2 cups of sugar, double up on the vanilla and place this mixture into (with nutmeg) into an ice cream maker.   Ta-da!   Eggnog ice cream!   Yes, you can still use the original mixture with the eggs if you like the color (after boiling).  It will be a thicker, richer ice cream.  But I still advise you to half-and-half the milk with cream at least, and bump up the sugar and vanilla.   You're welcome :)

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