We have just returned from a 3 week holiday in the US. The last week was spent with my cousin and his family in Alaska. We had a great time with them, and they introduced us to bear, moose and home-smoked salmon, all of which was extremely agreeable. In return, we introduced them to Scotch Eggs, shortbread and home-made eggnog, all of which they appeared to find agreeable. A couple of days later we had some store-bought eggnog from a carton, which was really sweet. Really really sweet. Too sweet. You get the idea. Home-made is better.
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups milk
1 cup double (heavy/whipping) cream
1 tsp vanilla
3 – 4 tbsp rum, bourbon or brandy (or whatever you have in the house. Southern Comfort or Disaronno works)
Put the milk and cream in a saucepan and heat until steaming hot, but DON’T let it boil. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl, using an electric mixer. Once the milk is hot, slowly, half a cup at a time, add it to the beaten egg, mixing well between additions so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat to 160ºF, stirring constantly. Chill. The eggnog that is. You still have work to do. Once cold, add the vanilla and alcohol. The alcohol is optional, if you are serving to children you may want to leave some to one side for them and spike the rest for the adults.
*This next part is optional, it adds volume and froth which is not a bad thing by any means. The only problem is that it uses raw eggs, so make sure you get good, fresh, reputable eggs (you can get hold of pasteurized eggs, or so I’ve heard) and don’t serve it to anyone with a compromised immune system or very young children.
Whisk the egg whites with 1 tsp sugar until very light and frothy, and then fold in to the eggnog.