Well, it seems I’ve just skipped through fall and Thanksgiving and jumped right into Christmas now that it’s just about mid-December! But is there a better way to celebrate the season than an absolutely decadent, divine Homemade Eggnog? Especially if it’s a Rich & Creamy Eggnog – and one that’s safe, at that!
I think people are divided into two camps. Those that love eggnog and those that are dead set against it. There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground. I’m in the love it category to be sure. I’ll drink any old version, good, bad, or indifferent, but there’s no doubt this over-the-top version is my fave.
About Rich & Creamy Eggnog:
It’s hard to believe I’ve been making homemade eggnog now for about 40 years, and I’ve tinkered and toyed with it (and tried and borrowed all kinds of techniques) for just about as long.
Back in the day, no one really worried about raw eggs, and if science is to be believed, given enough alcohol and enough time, eggnog can still be made safe w/o any cooking involved. I have lots of links to the science involved and experiments done on alcohol and egg safety on my recipe for Bailey’s Irish Cream (Reverse Engineered.)
My version starts with a cooked base, which is basically a custard (or a pudding-like substance if you prefer to think of it that way) which not only keeps food safety in mind, it also makes an extremely luscious eggnog. Best of all, you can use alcohol or not as you wish, and so have it family-friendly if you want.
If you want a non-alcoholic version, maybe those who wish to imbibe can add a shot or two of their fave poison, so to speak, to their own serving, brandy or cognac, bourbon, or rum, or any combination of the above. My personal preference would be for a little brandy. Just sayin’…
Just as an aside, if you’re an eggnog freak like me, you might enjoy reading this article from Wikipedia. Someone outdid him/herself pulling the information together!
Serving Rich & Creamy Eggnog:
I don’t know if you’ve peeked yet at the recipe, below, but when I say rich and creamy, I mean it! You’ll want to serve this in small cups (my little punch bowl cups worked beautifully) or else in some type of small wine or brandy sifter type of glasses.
You’re probably not going to want to serve it in a tumbler-type glass or a large mug! A little goes a long way.
However you serve your eggnog, don’t forget the obligatory sprinkle of nutmeg! It’s what really makes it special. And if you have whole nutmeg, all the better. Just shave it over the top and leave it out for anyone wishing to add more.
Making Rich & Creamy Eggnog:
The recipe is two parts. The first is a base, which is basically a cooked custard and must be done ahead so it can cool. The second is simply combining the base with more milk, any alcohol desired and yet more cream, whipped this time, and added in two additions,
When making the base, whisking the egg yolks and the sugar well before combining the hot milk mixture helps to keep the emulsion and helps to prevent any separation (from what I understand – being no food scientist.) Even more importantly, you need to temper (add some of the hot liquid into the eggs before combining the egg mixture into the remaining milk/cream) the eggs and cook slowly! If your egg mixture is cooked at too high of a temperature, the mixture can separate and become grainy and there’s no saving it. You’ll have to start over.
During the final stage, after the base mixture is cooled, very gently mix your base up then add your milk or add milk and alcohol (if using alcohol.) Next, whip your cream into soft peaks. Add half of that softly whipped cream to the chilled base mixture, then whip the rest of the cream to stiff peaks and dollop all over the top for garnish.
Don’t forget the nutmeg! I know, I keep sayin’ that!! 🙂
Saving Money on Rich & Creamy Eggnog:
If there is ever a time to save money on eggnog, it’s right before Christmas! All the ingredients should be on sale in the weeks preceding the holiday. I do like to use whipping cream in this recipe; it’s just a little lighter than heavy cream, but either will work, so buy what’s on sale.
If you’d like to check out what else might be on sale and items to stock up on around the Winter Holidays, check out my post: Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year’s Savings. It’s part of my strategy to Win at the Grocery.
This would be a lot of egg whites to waste if you don’t use them. You can keep them in the fridge for a few days, freeze them or check out my post on Over 75 Ways to Use Leftover Egg Whites for lots of ideas and more deets!Print
Rich & Creamy Eggnog
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: active about 20 minutes plus chill
- Yield: 2 quarts 1x
- Category: Beverage
Ingredients for base:
- 8 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 2 cups whole milk or 1 cup whole milk and 1 cup alcohol (choices are below)
- 2 cups of whipping cream, divided as it’s whipped
- freshly grated nutmeg, for sprinkling
For the alcohol, use your favorite or a combination of about a cup, total:
- brandy or Cognac
- dark rum
Start with the cooked base for the Eggnog:
Be careful to watch for scorching or boilovers throughout the heating process and heat gently so as not to cause the egg to seize after it is added.
In a large bowl, beat or thoroughly whisk egg yolks until lightened in color. Add the sugar and continue to beat or whisk until light and fluffy.
In the meantime, heat the milk and cream in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming hot, stirring often. Slowly drizzle in a portion (about 2 cups) of the hot milk/cream into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then add the egg yolk mixture into the pan, again, whisking constantly.
Raise the heat to medium and cook, stirring until the mixture begins to simmer (do not boil) and has thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Run a fingertip across the back of the spoon; the mixture should not fill in the void left behind by the finger swipe.
Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Place a strainer over a bowl and pour the hot mixture through to remove any hardened bits of egg. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled; mixture will thicken more as it gets cold.
To complete the Eggnog:
Gently stir your chilled base just to loosen it a bit. Do not overmix or cause any bubbles to form. Fold in the milk or milk/alcohol mixture.
Beat whipping cream to soft peaks; fold half into your base mixture. Beat the rest of the whipping cream to stiff peaks. Dollop in small spoonfuls across the top. Serve with grated nutmeg.
Keywords: Alcohol, Beverages, bourbon, brandy, Cognac, Cream, Eggs, milk, Rum