Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

I posted my recipe for eggnog back in 2010, but it’s so darn good that I’m posting it again. This recipe has been part of my Christmas for more than 25 years – an old welcome friend.

In the south, bourbon is the liquor of choice for eggnog but I’m squarely in the brandy and rum camp. This eggnog is pretty high-octane, but that’s part of its charm.

Don’t be put off by the instructions to heat up the egg/sugar/milk mixture. It’s easy enough to do with a bowl over a pot of barely simmering water and will make your eggs safe and your nog oh so creamy. You’ll need a thermometer for this step, but everyone should have a kitchen thermometer in their utensil drawer.

If you have eggnog lovers in your family or among your friends, they will want you to make this every year. If you’re the only one who loves eggnog, don’t miss out, make half a batch. You’ll be happy and festive.

Eggnog | Grabbing the Gusto

Eggnog | Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre’s Eggnog

You’ll need a mixer (or strong arms), saucepot (or double boiler), spatula, sieve, large bowl, whisk, an extra mixing bowl if you don’t feel like washing the original one, pitcher, and a rasp or grater for nutmeg.

  • 12 lage eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 cups milk, preferably whole
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla
  • 2-1/2 cups brandy
  • 2/3 cup Myers dark rum
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • Nutmeg

Beat eggs until very pale, quite a long time. With beaters going, add sugar slowly until it’s all incorporated into the eggs. Add the milk while beating slowly.

Put the egg mixture into the top of a double boiler. Instead of a double boiler, I use my mixer’s stainless steel bowl on top of a saucepot. Don’t let the water in the bottom pot boil, just lightly simmer. If it boils, the eggs may cook a bit too much. I keep the bowl covered until the temperature approaches 140. Keep scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula so the eggs don’t cook. Heat until the temperature reaches 140 and then stays at or above 140 for 3 minutes, or until the temperature reaches 160, whichever comes first.

Once it reaches the temperature (either 140 for 3 minutes or 160), immediately remove from the heat and cool the bowl down for a little while in an ice bath. Strain mixture through a sieve into a larger bowl — I use the one that had the ice in it. This will remove any cooked bits of egg – no matter my vigilance, there always seems to be cooked bits. Whisk in the vanilla, brandy and rum.

In a mixer (or by hand), whip cream to the soft peak stage — when you pull out the beaters, the peak of cream curls over or flops a bit. Fold the cream into your nog. It will look clumpy, that’s fine, you’ll give it a good stir (or whisk) before serving.

Pour into a pitcher, cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator to chill a few hours. Or, if you can’t wait (it’s been known to happen), serve warm in mugs. Before serving, give it a good whisk or stir so the whipped cream blends in. Serve chilled in a festive glass. Top each glass with grated fresh nutmeg.

Yield – one gallon

Adapted from: Nat’s Eggnog, Gourmet, December 1985 (not published online)

One thought on “Eggnog Encore

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