Egg Nog

Inspired by Christopher Kimball’s America’s Test Kitchen and general fun with Cook’s Illustrated, I tried making homemade uber eggnog. This was my first truly bad recipe experience.

The recipe is adopted from Cook’s Illustrated:

6 large eggs plus 2 yolks
1/2 C sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 C cream
2 cups milk
1/2 C rum
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg, plus extra for garnish
1/2 C heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

  1. Off heat, whisk eggs, yolks, sugar, and salt in heavy 3- or 4-quart saucepan. Stir in milk, one-half cup at a time, blending well after each addition. (This is much easier to do gradually.)
  2. Heat slowly, stirring constantly, until custard registers 160F on instant read thermometer, thickens, and coats the back of a spoon. (This can take up to half an hour. When it hits 160F, you’ll see a lot of )
  3. Pour custard through sieve into large bowl; stir in liquor, vanilla and grated nutmeg. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least three hours and up to three days.
  4. Just before serving, whip cream in medium bowl to very soft peaks and gently fold into custard mixture until incorporated. Serve in chilled punch bowl or cups, garnishing with optional grated nutmeg.

The flavor was fine, but resulted in a disurbingly lumpy eggnog, even though I ran it through a sieve. The family was unanimous in feeling that organic, store bought egg nog was much better.

I’m going to have to spend more time tinkering with the custard end of the food spectrum before attempting this next year.

7 thoughts on “Egg Nog”

  1. I really enjoy Cooks Illustrated, but I am still somewhat bewildered Christopher Kimball’s opening editorial each month. For a magazine that to me represents a very scientific approach to cooking, those odd little snippets of his life in New England seem out of place.

    I think he needs a blog.

  2. > somewhat bewildered by Christopher Kimball’s opening editorial

    Me too. I just skip that part, but read everything else cover to cover. I wish it were easier to navigate back issues.

    I love the way they do dozens of permutations of a recipe to quantify the variables.

  3. Director Mitch

    My grandfather’s recipe was famous in his day (he died before I was born), but it has been handed down to me, which I make every year. It seems similar to yours (I made a half batch this year since it yields a LOT, but this is the full recipe):

    8 Eggs, separated
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 pint half and half
    1/2 pint whipping cream
    16 TBL spoons bourbon (not RUM! – and I usually add a little more at the end to taste)
    Nutmeg to taste (which I hate, so I don’t use any)

    There is no cooking with this recipe – the bourbon is what kills any nasties hiding in the eggs

    Thoroughly mix yolks and sugar. Add bourbon. Mix in Half and Half.

    Whip whites until firm. Fold in.

    Whip cream. Fold in.

    Drink and get toasted.

  4. Amazing. I skip the rest of the mag and read the editorials. Slow down. Brew coffee. Read the editorials. They will do you good.

    Ken

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