Jack's Homemade 'Nog
It's one of those days. You know; the one where it's perfect, cold and snowy winter weather, there is a quiet calm (plus a pinch of excitement) over everyone as it finally starts to feel like the holiday season, and you wonder if there has ever been a better time to use your fireplace. It's on these days that many who love to cook get the urge to try a new recipe in the kitchen. Bread, cookies, toffee, the star of today's show: EGGNOG.
What is it that makes eggnog so ideal for the holidays? Other than the warming spices that present themselves in nearly every holiday baking recipe, eggnog is composed of kitchen staples - milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, heavy cream, booze. Its simplicity is what makes eggnog so perfect for this time of year - an uncomplicated recipe plus basic ingredients equals the perfect concoction for knocking the Christmas socks off of your guests.
Don't underestimate this beverage, though - it is thick and rich, and might have you feeling much like one does if the merry-go-round spins too fast. Fortunately, the acidity of the brandy cuts that creamy sweetness to make it both a perfect holiday cocktail or nightcap.
Yield: 6 cups
Eggs 6 ea
Sugar 1 cup
Salt ½ tsp
Milk 4 cups
Vanilla 2 tbsp
Nutmeg, grated 1 tsp, plus garnish
Cinnamon, ground 1 tsp
Brandy, optional 1 cup
Heavy Cream 1 cup
1. Combine eggs, sugar and salt in a bowl. Whisk until light and foamy.
2. In a sauce pot, heat milk to a low simmer. Slowly pour over egg mixture while stirring continually. Mixture should reach 160 degrees. If not, return to sauce pot and continue cooking, while stirring continually, until mixture reaches 160.
3. Add vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and brandy; set aside.
4. In a medium sized bowl, add cream and lightly whisk to soft peaks. Gently fold into milk mixture and refrigerate until chilled.
5. Eggnog can be drunk immediately, but improves with age. If using alcohol, up to 2 weeks.