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Make your own egg nog

January 4, 2014 - Harry Eagar
Make your own egg nog

Egg nog is so easy to make, it's hard to understand how the wretched commercial imitation finds buyers, but apparently egg nog has a reputation for being time-consuming. It's not. You can make any quantity in 15 minutes.

You get a smoother result using a whisk, at least on the whites, but that takes just a little longer.

I used to make egg nog very sweet and very stiff – so stiff you had to eat it with a spoon – but my current thinking is for a slightly sweet, more fluid drink, though still a lot stiffer than commercial egg nog.

The basic recipe, easily scalable, calls for 6 eggs, half a pint of heavy cream and a quart of light cream, and powdered sugar equal to half the volume of the yolks.

Separate the eggs, and put the whites in the refrigerator in a china or stainless steel bowl to cool. Whisk the yolks in a small bowl, then whisk in powdered sugar.

If you want sweeter egg nog, still limit the sugar to about half the volume of the yolks. Otherwise you get a gluey mixture that is not easy to mix with the whites and cream. You can add more sugar while you are whipping the cream.

Let the yolk-sugar mixture stand a while, 30 minutes or so. \

In a medium bowl, beat the whites, just until they begin to hold a shape. Using an electric mixer gives a slightly coarser texture.

Combine the yolks and whites. In a chilled large bowl, whip the heavy cream just until it holds its shape.

Add to the whites and yolks. Add light cream. You can thin the egg nog to any state with whole milk.

I think it tastes better after sitting in the refrigerator overnight, but it will separate and have to be remixed. If you add alcohol, do it far enough ahead to let the flavors blend.

You can add rum, brandy, bourbon or blended whisky; or any of the sweet brown wines like sherry, Madeira or Marsala.

If you use nutmeg, grate it fresh. I prefer mace. For a modernist touch, grate some hard chocolate flavored with pepper.


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