By Elsie, Contributing Writer
For me, the presence of eggnog on grocery store shelves has always been a herald of Christmas. When I see it, I imagine its thick, creamy sweetness and good times drinking it.When we decorated our tree, Mom would mix a carton of eggnog with milk and sprinkle each serving with nutmeg and we’d sip it while enjoying our handiwork.
Eggnog also accompanied our meals when we used the Christmas china, and we could expect a pitcher full on the breakfast table Christmas morning.
This year, it was just before Thanksgiving that eggnog caught my eye in the store. I made a beeline for it, stretched out eager, trembling fingers, and instinctively flipped a carton over to read the ingredients. High fructose corn syrup.
I should’ve known. And look at the price for such a tiny carton! I just couldn’t do it. I put it back, forlornly, selected some cream cheese as a consolation prize, and continued my shopping in a dreary mood.
But since a Real Food mindset has inspired me to think outside of the convenience food box, it wasn’t long before I vowed to make my own eggnog. It’s my first Christmas as a married woman, and I wanted to continue the family tradition and enjoy one of my favorite beverages.
I had a few requirements for a homemade eggnog: it had to be cheap, easy to make and taste heavenly served hot or cold. I know that it’s possible to consume raw eggs safely, but I’m a little nervous doing so, and I’m not a fan of the taste. So, I decided to make a simple stovetop custard instead. I think you will find that the recipe meets all of the requirements.
Simple Cooked Eggnog
4 egg yolks
4 cups whole milk
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
freshly whipped cream
1. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl. In a heavy saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat until it’s just under the boiling point, stirring often. Whisk about ½ cup of hot milk into the egg yolks. Slowly add the egg mixture to the saucepan, and let everything cook for five minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and let the custard cool and thicken slightly.
2. After the custard has cooled for several minutes, stir in the honey and vanilla. This would also be the time to add rum or brandy, if desired. Serve warm, sprinkled with nutmeg and mounded with whipped cream, or chill in the refrigerator to enjoy later.
– If you want to increase the serving size, add 1 egg, 1 cup of milk, 1 ½ tablespoons of honey and a few drops of vanilla per person.
– The leftover egg whites could be used for meringues, “forgotten” cookies, or to brush over the tops of homemade pastries.
Have you ever made homemade eggnog? What’s your favorite go-to eggnog recipe?
Check out these other great eggnog variations: