Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 2013, everyone!

I promised a friend last night that I'd share my eggnog recipe so here it is. I've been making this every holiday season since December 1986, when my freshman roommate Anne found this recipe in her English mother's cookbook. After a few adjustments (like halving the alcohol!), it became a keeper. My family, who are no strangers to good food, call this eggnog "ambrosial."

HOLIDAY EGGNOG (serves 12)

6 eggs, freshest you can find
3/4 cup sugar
1 pint heavy cream
1 pint whole milk
1/2 cup bourbon
1 oz. rum (gold rum is best)
Whole nutmeg
Real vanilla extract

Directions: Prepare a day in advance.
Separate eggs and reserve whites for tomorrow. Beat egg yolks well, using an electric hand blender. Add 1/2 cup of sugar slowly, blending well. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the milk and cream gently, then stir in the bourbon and rum. Add 2 tsp. vanilla and 1 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg and stir. Cover bowl and place in fridge overnight. (Curing the eggnog is essential: the alcohol, butterfat, and sugar need to harmonize with each other overnight. Same day, the mix tastes weird -- "who put eggs and sugar and milk in my bourbon" weird.)

Before serving the next day, whip egg whites (works best if they are at room temperature) until frothy and add remaining 1/4 cup of sugar gradually and beat to soft-peak stage. Fold into egg yolk mixture until fully incorporated; final texture should be foamy and creamy. Grate more fresh nutmeg on top of the bowl and serve! Stir with a spoon to keep mix from separating; eggyolk mix will sink to bottom of serving bowl eventually, and eggwhite will rise to top.

[I do not know the nutritional profile of this eggnog. Suffice to say it's probably fine if you have it just once a year! I have used raw eggs for this recipe for over a quarter century and nobody ever got sick from it.]