Egg nogmakes 20 servings (1/2 cup each)

by Jonathan Clemens

Few foods are as synonymous with the holiday season as eggnog, whose creamy texture and rich, sweet flavor is such a wonderful treat during the cold winter months. It tastes like the holidays. A cup of eggnog with nutmeg on top reminds us of how precious the season really is. I invite you to make this elegant eggnog recipe for your Christmas party or family get together, as has been done for as long as I can remember by my own mother, and create for yourself a littleholiday cheer.

Ingredients

Soft Custard
6 eggs, slightly beaten
2/3 c. sugar
a pinch of salt
5 c. milk
1 T vanilla

2 c. chilled whipping cream
4 T powered sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 c. rum (optional)
1 or 2 drops yellow food coloring (optional)
Half and half (optional)
4 scoops each of both vanilla and eggnog ice cream (optional)
Ground nutmeg

First, prepare the soft custard by mixing the eggs, sugar and salt in a saucepan capable of holding at least 4 quarts. Stir in milk slowly, then cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat your stirring instrument, which should take between 15 and 20 minutes. Remove the custard from the heat, stir in the vanilla and place the saucepan in cold water until the custard is cool. If the custard begins to curdle, stir with a whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours and for no more than 24 hours.

After the custard is prepared and just before the serving of the eggnog, beat the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla in a chilled mixing bowl until stiff. Stir in rum and food coloring if desired. Take 2 cups of the whipped cream and lightly mix into the custard. Pour the eggnog into a large punch bowl and then cut with half and half until desired thickness is reached (if the thickness is to your liking to begin with no half and half is required). Add 4 scoops vanilla and 4 scoops eggnog ice cream, easily found in most grocery stores, to give the eggnog extra flavor and keep it cool. Mound the remaining whipped cream into the eggnog and sprinkle nutmeg on top. Serve immediately and bask in the praise of your wonderful creation.

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