Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas - Have Some Eggnog!

I'll bet you have lots of holiday traditions that you follow year after year. It makes you feel good to know that this year, many years before, and many years after your family will put up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving...or on Christmas Eve. A favorite Christmas movie will be seen...Home Alone anyone? Die Hard?? Of course there are always food and beverage traditions. One of ours is to drink eggnog while decorating the Christmas tree. Usually it's eggnog from a carton with a sprinkle of nutmeg on top and maybe some whipped cream if we are feeling decadent. An added shot of bourbon was welcome for the adults.

The trouble with that, for me, is that the eggnog in the carton from the market is usually made with dairy products, which meant that I couldn't imbibe. This year I decided to do something about that by making my own eggnog. I really wasn't sure if it would still be good eggnog, but it turned out to be better than the usual.

I used Alton Brown's recipe from Good Eats as a starting place. It uses egg yolks and whites, and sugar, and nutmeg for flavor, plus it calls for both whole milk and cream. I substituted Soy creamer for both the whole milk and the heavy cream. You could also use another non-dairy creamer. I think that Ripple makes one from pea shoots. Just make sure that it is a creamer not a milk because the creamer has the thicker consistency that you need.

We actually do some cooking with this recipe. The yolks and sugar get beaten together until the sugar dissolves and the yolks become lighter in color. Mine became fluffy, too. The soy creamer gets heated up to a boil with the nutmeg. Then comes the fun part...tempering the egg yolks.You do this so that the yolks don't become hard cooked eggs. Tempering means that you add a small amount of the hot liquid and stir it into the egg yolk/sugar mixture. Then you add a little more and stir it in, then a little more. Then the whole mixture, now warmed by the addition of the hot creamer, gets added back into the pot with the rest of the hot creamer and you stir it well and cook until the mixture thickens a bit.

Bourbon is added, the mixture is cooled (hopefully overnight in the fridge) and when ready to serve you beat up the egg whites with a bit of sugar until soft peaks form, then you fold that into the cold eggnog and serve it up. This is quality stuff my friends! Certainly worth the effort of making it.

The recipe below makes 6-7 cups but it can be doubled (which I did) for more eggnog.

Merry Christmas!

Alton Brown, Food Network, Good Eats


4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon
3 cups soy creamer - I use Silk original
3 oz. bourbon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 egg whites *
         Cook's Note: For cooked eggnog, follow procedure below.
         In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until it is completely dissolved. Set aside.

         In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the soy creamer and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and gradually temper the hot mixture into the egg and sugar mixture. Then return everything to the pot and cook until the mixture reaches 160 degrees  F. Remove from the heat, stir in the bourbon, pour into a medium mixing bowl, and set in the     refrigerator to chill.
          In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. With the mixer running gradually add  the 1 tablespoon of sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk the egg whites into the chilled    mixture.
*Consumption of raw or undercooked eggs, shellfish and meat may increase the risk of foodborne illness.

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