I LOVE eggnog. Lucky for me, so do my kids.
Every year, we look forward to the advent of winter weather, when grocery stores will carry its creamy goodness on refrigerated shelves. We joyfully sprinkle extra nutmeg on top of each glass. We taste-test various brands each year, deciding whether last year's favorite is still the best, and re-affirming which brands we definitely don't like. And each year, the steep price for a mere quart of the stuff briefly takes my breath away, before I resignedly tell myself it's only once a year.
But until this year, I've never made my own. For years, I would read the ingredients on store-bought eggnog, noticing that they can range from factory-made chemical concoctions to natural, creamy goodness. And I've often noted (as is so often the case) that those made with natural ingredients - eggs, milk, cream, spices - usually taste the best. Given how short the list of ingredients can be, and how easily accessible, I have often thought I should just make it myself.
One thing has always stopped me: raw eggs. Most homemade eggnog involves a cold mixture of raw eggs, milk or cream, and spices, swirled together in various methods, but never cooked. Raw eggs, of course, are a no-no for children, since they can contain salmonella (easily killed when the eggs are cooked, but potentially deadly otherwise, especially for those whose immune systems may not be up to snuff).
For this recipe, I finally decided to conquer the raw-egg hurdle using a French-custard approach - I whipped the egg yolks with sugar, then gently warmed them with milk until piping hot and safely cooked. The result - delicious! Without all the strange chemicals, and without the ridiculous price tag.
Wanna make your own eggnog this year? Here's the complete recipe.