Pass the Eggnog Please

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Pass the Eggnog Please

Eggnog, the Holiday tradition that for most people, you either love it or hate it. Either way it holds a special place during the season.  Maybe if you have tried it and found it to be distasteful maybe you just haven’t found a GOOD eggnog recipe.

What is Eggnog?  Technically it is a stirred custard—a mixture of dairy and eggs. It’s almost identical to ice cream, except that in most cases it contains too much alcohol to freeze. Although it can be cooked to kill off any possible salmonella and to thicken the mix, heating also deactivates the egg enzymes that give “real” eggnog its traditional taste and texture. Egg-based drinks became popular in the American colonies, where nearly everyone had access to cows, chickens, and rum.

The basic recipe for eggnog has not changed over the years (eggs beaten with sugar, milk, cream and some kind of spirit) and remains a favorite for holiday parties. Whatever the variation of the popular holiday drink, it is sure to be a winner with most of your holiday guests.

Traditional Homemade Eggnog

6 eggs, separated

1/2 cup super fine sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups brandy (optional)

1 cup milk

Nutmeg (use for garnish also)

Beat egg yolks, 1/4 cup sugar, nutmeg, salt and vanilla together until very thick and light yellow.

Slowly beat in brandy (rum and whiskey are also popular alternatives) and milk. Cover and chill overnight.

Shortly before serving, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar, beat this mixture to soft peaks again, creating a meringue-like cream. Then slowly pour this cream over the chilled brandy mixture, folding in gently. Serve the eggnog in a mug, Irish coffee glass, or punch cup and grate nutmeg over the top for garnish. Serves 16.

Trimmed Down Eggnog

4 cups whole milk

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated low-fat milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

6 large eggs

1/4 cup brandy (optional)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place milk and evaporated milk in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Combine sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and eggs in a large bowl. Gradually add hot milk to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan; cook over medium-low heat until thick (about 8 minutes), stirring constantly. Pour into a bowl; stir in brandy and vanilla. Press plastic wrap onto surface of eggnog, and chill 8 hours or overnight.

Serves 12, each serving contains; Calories 152, Fat 5.6 g, Protein 7.6 g, Carbohydrate 15 g,

Fiber 0.0 g, Cholesterol 118 mg, Sodium 101 mg, Calcium 168 mg.

Dairy-Free Eggnog

6 extra-large egg yolks

½ cup sugar

1½ cups almond milk (or other dairy-free milk)

1 stick whole cinnamon

20 ounces (about 1½ cans) coconut milk (full strength – not low fat)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 to 8 tablespoons rum (optional)

In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk briskly until thickened. Set the bowl aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, slowly heat the almond milk with the cinnamon stick, stirring frequently, until the cinnamon becomes fragrant and the milk has been reduced by about one-third. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and discard the cinnamon stick. Pour the reduced milk it very slowly into the egg yolk and sugar mixture, whisking constantly. This is how we temper the eggs, so they don’t scramble (see photo). Return the mixture to the saucepan, and stir in the coconut milk.

Return the saucepan to the stovetop, and simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble a bit (don’t let it break into a full rolling boil, or it will curdle) and starts to thicken.

Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the vanilla, nutmeg, and ground cinnamon. Stir in the optional rum. Chill completely in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Serves 6.

Amazingly Good Eggnog

4 cups milk

5 whole cloves

½ tsp. vanilla extract

12 egg yolks

1 ½ cups sugar

2 ½ cups light rum (optional)

4 cups light cream

2 tsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp. ground nutmeg

Combine milk, cloves, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan, and heat over lowest setting for 5 minutes. Slowly bring milk mixture to a boil.

In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together until fluffy. Whisk hot milk mixture slowly into the eggs. Pour mixture into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 3 minutes, or until thick. Do not allow mixture to boil. Strain to remove cloves, and let cool for about an hour.

Stir in rum, cream, 2 teaspoon vanilla, and nutmeg. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

Cider Nog

Apple cider

1 egg or egg substitute

1 Tablespoon sugar

Pour the egg and sugar in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well. Strain into an old-fashioned glass. Fill with chilled cider. Yields 1 cocktail.

Low Carb Eggnog

1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. Splenda

2 eggs, separated

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups heavy cream

2 cups water

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Rum or brandy to taste

1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped with sweetener of choice

Ground nutmeg

Beat 1/2 cup Splenda with egg yolks. Add salt, stir in 2 cups cream and 2 cups water.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture coats a spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Beat egg whites until foamy then gradually add remaining Splenda, beating to soft peaks. Add to cooked mixture and blend thoroughly. Add vanilla and flavoring. Chill at least 3-4 hours. Pour into a punch bowl or cups and garnish with grated nutmeg.

Written By

Photo of Tammy Kelly, Ed. DTammy Kelly, Ed. DCounty Extension Director (252) 527-2191 tammy_kelly@ncsu.eduLenoir County, North Carolina
Updated on Jan 2, 2015
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