Beverage & Bar Features
The Joy of EggnogPatricia Mitchell
Upholding tradition is vital to most of us when celebrating the holidays. That's why we eat the same food, sing the same songs and lovingly bring out the same decorations year after year.
Eggnog is a tradition that goes back at least to the 1700s and, judging from the number of requests Texas Cooking gets for eggnog recipes, is as popular as ever.
Although the English indulged in eggnog spiked with ale, wine or brandy, American colonists chose rum, which came from the Caribbean, in order to avoid the hefty taxes levied on brandy or other European spirits. Eggnog evolution continues to this day. The eggnog recipes that follow employ not only different spirits, but different methods of preparation.
Our recipes are Classic Traditional Eggnog, Rich and Creamy Eggnog, Rompope (Mexican Eggnog), Whipped Eggnog, Cooked Eggnog, Single-Serving Eggnog and -- surprise! -- Milk Punch (Eggless Eggnog). These recipes can be easily doubled or halved, depending upon your needs.
If you are concerned about raw eggs to the point of not wanting to use them, there are three alternatives: cooked eggnog, milk punch and pasteurized eggs. At one time, pasteurized eggs could be ordered online; however, that is no longer the case because Davidson's Pasteurized Shell Eggs are now available in many supermarkets, mine included. These eggs are pasteurized in the shell using a hot water bath that does not cook the egg.
Beat the eggs for 2 or 3 minutes with an electric mixer at medium speed until very frothy. Gradually beat in the sugar, vanilla and nutmeg. Turn the mixer off and stir in the cold brandy, rum, whipping cream and milk Chill before serving. Sprinkle individual servings with more nutmeg. Makes about 2-1/2 quarts.
Rich and Creamy EggnogThis recipe will make a punch bowl full of eggnog.
Before serving, beat the egg whites with 1/4 cup sugar until stiff, and fold into the egg mixture. Whip the remaining 2 cups of heavy cream, and fold into the egg mixture. Fold in the ice cream, gently stirring to combine all ingredients. Sprinkle individual servings with additional nutmeg.
Eggnog can be refrigerated; however, the cream will rise to the top. Stir the mixture gently to recombine before serving. The amount of liquor can be adjusted to taste.
Beat the egg yolks until thick and lemony. Remove the cinnamon stick from the milk mixture, and gradually whisk the egg yolks into the milk mixture. Return to low heat and, stirring constantly, cook until mixture coats a spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
Add the rum or brandy to the mixture, stir well. Transfer to a container and and cover tightly. Refrigerate for 1 or 2 days before serving. Makes 1-1/2 quarts.
Whip the cream, cover and refrigerate. Wash the beaters well, then whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold the whipped cream and whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. Serve immediately. Sprinkle individual servings with ground nutmeg.
To make this eggnog non-alcoholic, omit the liquors and increase the milk to 3 cups.
Milk Punch - Eggless Eggnog
To serve, pour into glasses and sprinkle nutmeg over each. Makes 8 servings.
Hold glasses high and make a toast to the warmth of holiday traditions and a happy new year.
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