Eggnog has been one of my favorite holiday treats since I was a child. I could never get enough of the sweet creaminess, drinking as much as my parents would let me. As an adult I used to get a carton or a jug every year and drink most of it myself over a week or so.
Then I started wondering why I had never made eggnog myself. Well, I knew really. It was the raw eggs. I just couldn’t get past the possibility of salmonella. Who wants to serve up a glass of food poisoning to their families at the holidays? I gave up on the idea of making my own until I figured out how to get around the raw egg thing.
I discovered Davidson’s Safest Choice pasteurized eggs a few years ago, just about the time I was hunting for eggnog recipes again. They are pasteurized in the shell, so you can use them raw without fear of salmonella. And you can use them in recipes that call for beaten egg whites, like eggnog.
I made haste to the grocery store to get the eggs and the rest of the stuff to make a batch of eggnog. We were heading to my parents’ house for Christmas day that year and I figured we could have fun making and drinking the eggnog with the whole family.
We realized when we were pouring the finished eggnog into a pitcher that the recipe we were using was a little inaccurate. It was supposed to make six servings, but we filled two pitchers, and then some, with the eggy creaminess. Eight of us had a taste and hardly made a dent in the supply.
We all tried our darnedest, but by the time we were a few days out from Christmas, we were all sick of eggnog. We needed some way to preserve it, and Rich had the brilliant idea to make ice cream out of the leftovers. We poured the rest of the eggnog into the ice cream maker and hoped for the best.
We ended up with the most delicious eggnog ice cream that satisfied a craving we didn’t even know we had. It was rich, of course, with eggs, cream and whole milk. And it was dense, creamy and decadent. It also had the beautiful feature of staying fresh in its frozen form. We didn’t have to worry about it going sour before we could finish it, like we had when it was in its liquid form. We doled out that ice cream like it was gold.
That was probably five years ago, and we haven’t made eggnog, or eggnog ice cream since. Rich periodically waxes philosophic about that ice cream, but we never seem to find time to make it.
Fast forward a few years to this summer – I was surprised and pleased to see that Davidson’s Safest Choice Eggs were a sponsor of the St. Louis Food Media Forum I went to in August. Seeing the brand, and sampling a few of their egg based dishes at the conference reminded me of that eggnog I made. I have been thinking about the eggnog since August, and looking for an excuse to make it.
When I was offered the chance to participate in an eggnog blog party sponsored by Safest Choice Eggs I jumped on it. Well, almost. I have never done a sponsored post before and I wondered if that was a direction I wanted to head in. But pasteurized eggs are a product I have used in the past, and I was happy with the results. And the blog party gives you, my readers, a chance to win a great prize pack. So I decided to participate.
You have the chance to win one of two prize packages that include a $200 Amex gift card, a 7-piece Sur La Table Platinum Professional bakeware set, a set of Sur La Table snowman spatulas, a copy of Better Homes and Gardens Baking and coupons for a year’s supply of Safest Choice eggs. The contest is open until midnight Eastern time this Friday, December 13.
Based on my notes from the first time we made the eggnog, I have developed a new recipe that really lets the cream and the nutmeg shine. I reduced the sugar and increased both the nutmeg and the vanilla. If you aren’t a fan of nutmeg, use the smaller amount. I also adjusted the recipe so it makes a manageable amount of eggnog. If you are serving a big crowd, the recipe is easy to double.
From The Cook’s Life
Makes about 1 quart, 8-10 servings
For best flavor, start the recipe several hours before serving. If you prefer, you can make and serve this right away if you don’t want to take the extra time. It will still be fabulous. If want to skip the resting step, whip the whites before you whip the yolks. Fold the whites into the yolk and cream mixture and serve immediately.
3 pasteurized eggs (I used Safest Choice)
6 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼-½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Freshly grated nutmeg for topping
Separate the eggs. Refrigerate the whites until you need them.
In a large bowl, beat egg yolks until almost doubled in volume, thick and pale yellow. This should take about 3 minutes of beating. Beat in 3 tablespoons sugar until no longer grainy.
Stir in cream, milk, vanilla and nutmeg. Pour into a pitcher or container. Cover and refrigerate for several hours, or overnight.
When you are almost ready to serve the eggnog, remove the egg whites from the fridge and let them come to room temperature for about 15 minutes. Then beat the egg whites in a large bowl until just staring to thicken and turn white. Gradually add remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and beat until soft peaks form.
Gently fold beaten egg whites into cream and yolk mixture.
Serve immediately for optimal texture. Pour into small glasses or cups, top with extra ground nutmeg. When the eggnog sits a foamy layer will form on top. Stir the mixture gently to remix.
Store any leftovers in the fridge and use within a few days. The eggnog won’t be quite as thick and foamy later, but it will still be delicious. Whisk thoroughly to combine before serving any leftovers.
Eggnog Ice Cream
If you have any extra eggnog, you can make luscious, rich eggnog ice cream. Pour the chilled mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s directions. Because of the high fat content, the ice cream freezes very hard. If you like, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of vodka during the last five minutes of churning. The alcohol will keep the ice cream from getting quite so hard in the freezer, making scooping much easier. If you prefer not to use alcohol, let the ice cream warm up for a few minutes before scooping.