I’m finally home for Xmas. “Home” being Asheville, North Carolina where I grew up. It’s cold and cloudy, the tree is up and decorated, and my stepfather and I are arguing about the absurd lack of heat in his house. And about whether or not organic produce is worth the cost. We’re tiptoeing around the subject of politics. In other words, it’s the exact same as when I was a growing up, only now I live in California so he probably feels like I’ve been brainwashed and obviously have even less reason to validate my opinion.
That all being said, I love being home for the holidays. I can catch up with family and friends that seem a billion miles away during most of the year, and I can gorge myself on fattening food and not feel one speck of guilt for it. Eggnog is on my must-have list for this year. Although it is one of my favorite Christmas treats, I am highly weirded out by recipes that have raw eggs. Sorry, I understand that people have been eating it for years and it’s perfectly fine to eat, but I’m just not going to do it. I also refuse to drink the stuff you buy in cartons at the supermarket. You might as well suggest that I buy cartons of “egg product” for my omelets as opposed to actual eggs. In that case I would prefer to go without, thankyouverymuch.
This recipe is DA BOMB. And as my gift for this year you will kindly not make fun of me for using that phrase. Please and thank you. But seriously, this takes just a few minutes to make, it’s doesn’t have any raw eggs, and tastes like the most delicious, creamy alcoholic (optionally non-alcoholic) beverage you have ever had. And if anyone manages to calculate the calorie count for this, you will kindly NOT share that info. With anyone. Ever.
Vanilla Spice Eggnog
1 pint whole milk
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup bourbon (optional)
Add the milk and cinnamon stick and nutmeg to a large saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl beat together the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla. Once the milk has come up to a boil, turn the heat down to low. To temper the eggs, pour a little of the hot mixture into the egg yolks while constantly whisking (you’re trying to make sure they don’t become scrambled eggs). Once the eggs are tempered, slowly add them to the rest of the milk, again while constantly whisking. Whisk the eggs in the milk for a few minutes until they have fully combined and are definitely not scrambled.
Pour the mixture into a container of your choosing and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Meanwhile, beat the heavy cream in a bowl until stiff peaks form. Once the eggnog has chilled, whisk in the cream and bourbon. Serve immediately, or chill in the refrigerator for up to one day.
*You may notice after letting it sit for a while that the cream separates a bit from the rest of the mixture. Just be sure to stir it back in again, it’ll still be delicious