One of the many benefits of raising chickens is knowing the eggs you collect are not only fresh, but are handled carefully and kept clean, so the risk of Salmonella and E Coli are lessened compared to cooking with store bought eggs. I try to incorporate our fresh eggs into our weekly menu as often as possible and also into our holiday menus.
Eggnog is a holiday tradition at our house. Our fresh eggs, along with some scraped vanilla bean and freshly ground nutmeg, make my eggnog truly a guilty pleasure guaranteed to deliver plenty of holiday cheer.
Adapted from a combination of Martha Stewart's Classic Eggnog recipe and Emeril's Eggnog recipe, I think you will agree that my eggnog is worthy to be served all through the holiday season to special friends and family.
My recipe does contain alcohol, but please feel free to just omit the liquor if you want to make a family-friendly version.
(makes approximately 3 quarts)
~Ingredients~8 fresh eggs, plus 4 additional eggs separated
1-3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream, plus 1/2 cup
6 cups whole milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup bourbon
1/4 cup sherry
1/4 cup brandy
~Method~Whisk the 8 eggs plus 4 additional yolks with the sugar in a medium bowl until pale yellow and thick. Heat the 2 cups heavy cream, milk and scraped vanilla bean in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking until hot. Add about a cup of the milk mixture into the whisked egg and whisk to blend, then pour the egg/milk mixture into the hot milk in the saucepan and continue to cook, whisking, for about 3-5 minutes, or until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl and allow to cool.
Add the vanilla bean paste, nutmeg and liquors to the eggnog and stir well. In a small bowl, beat the 4 egg whites until soft peaks form and then gently fold into the eggnog. In a clean chilled bowl, beat the remaining 1/2 cup heavy cream to soft peaks and fold it into the eggnog. Refrigerate until chilled, then garnish with additional fresh grated nutmeg and serve.