Saturday, December 22, 2012


Homemade eggnog is thick and creamy and rich, scented with nutmeg and with a custard-like flavor. 

Sure, store-bought is easier, but it is also very different.  This is what eggnog is supposed to taste like.  One of the healthy things I did for myself this year included avoiding high fructose corn syrup whenever possible.  This is the reason I read the labels on every brand of eggnog at the store... then left without purchasing any of them, disappointed that I would be going without this year.  Not so!  No corn syrup or GMO-related anything in the homemade version!  Now I'm not saying that eggnog is healthy but it is amazing and goes perfectly with everything holiday-ish.

Thanks to Martha Stewart for the recipe, no adjustments needed.  It doubles and quadruples well too if you want tons of eggnog.  A double recipe makes almost half a gallon.

Some tips:
- Use a stirring spoon to alternate with the whisk to make it easier to tell when the sugar is dissolved.
- Adding the milk to the eggs prevents the eggs from cooking - pouring the eggs into hot milk would basically poach the eggs instead of mixing them together smoothly.
- Mine took about 30 minutes to get to the right thickness.  It happens pretty quickly, the mixture is thin like milk during most of the cooking time then suddenly it's eggnog.  Take it off the heat as soon as the shift happens or it will overcook.
- You will need a fine-mesh strainer, preferably one that can latch onto a large bowl to make it easy to strain the hot eggnog.  Straining separates out any bits of egg that separated from the milk, to keep the consistency smooth.

Local highlights:
Eggs from Clifford Farm
Milk and cream from Winder Farms

Homemade Eggnog

        4 cups milk
        1 1/3 cups sugar
        12 large egg yolks
        1/2 cup bourbon, (optional)
        1 cup chilled heavy cream
        Grated nutmeg

1. In medium saucepan, whisk milk and sugar over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks. Whisking constantly, pour hot mixture into yolks in a slow and steady stream.
3. Return mixture to pan; cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until thick enough to coat back of spoon, 20 to 25 minutes; do not let simmer. Quickly strain into a bowl.
4. Stir in bourbon, if desired, and cream. Cool completely; cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until chilled. Garnish with nutmeg, if desired.

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