What is the month of December without Eggnog?
Eggnog is one of those foods I would indulge in year round if possible. When the holidays roll around and that little creamy yellow carton of joy shows up in the supermarket once again, I can't help but feel conflicted emotions. One is pure joy accompanied by a gluttonous urge to grab the carton and guzzle it right there in the shop. The other is sadness and dismay when remember how seriously unhealthy it is for you. I actually look at the ingredients every year. Yes, I've read them many times before and I'm well aware of what I'll find before I look, but for whatever reason I'm eternally hopefully that someone has granted my wish of an eggnog that I could sip on more than once or twice in the month of December without feeling like I'm doing myself a serious disservice.
All industrial dairy Eggnog ingredient lists I've checked out over the years are rife with additives including artificial flavorings and color as well as high fructose corn syrup and thickeners. Yes - there's also the fat. Eggnog has a slightly obscene (in a really good way!) amount of cream in it. And, in most cases, that dairy fat is going to be from cows in confinement, being treated with hormones and antibiotics, and eating grain. This makes for pretty nasty dairy fat. The type that sticks to places you wish it wouldn't. It's also a tad too sweet for my taste.
For the past 9 months we've had the daily joy of milk that is from our own healthy grazing goat herd as well as fresh eggs from our free range hens. This year I thought, why not try to make it from scratch?
While the majority of the recipes I found involved cooking the milk and egg, a few of them from more traditional roots, left both raw. Wait - isn't that something like what Rocky drank for breakfast? Inspired by the idea of making a healthier version of my favorite drink , I toyed around a bit and ended up with a flexible recipe that can go either way - rich and indulgent, or light and flavorful - as you wish. The real raw egg adds body and rich flavor that makes either version a scrumptious treat. Scrapple and I have whipped up 3 batches so far this month to add a little holiday spirit to everything from tree decorating to soap packing and my pants still fit - I'd say it's a success!
4 farm fresh eggs
1/4 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon
nutmeg - 1 teaspoon or to taste (also cinnamon and ginger depending on your preferences)
milk - 3 cups for rich 'nog or 4 cups for light 'nog (raw is great but pasteurized will be fine here)
cream - 1 cup (for rich version only)
whisky - as you wish!
Separate your eggs. Beat the yolks until they have thickened and turned from orange to a creamy yellow. Slowly add the sugar while you continue to beat the yolks. When sugar has dissolved (for the most part) stop beating and slowly incorporate the milk and, if you're making the rich version, the cream, as well as 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and any other spices you might enjoy. Also add the whiskey at this point. You can use just a splash for flavor or spike it with a half cup - up to you. Beat the eggwhites while slowly adding the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whites into your yolk mixture and you're done! You can top each glass with a sprinkle of cinnamon or even a scoop of ice cream.
Hope you're all enjoying getting into the spirit!