Nate loves egg nog.
All through the month of December, he makes special trips to Wal-Mart and every time he’s there, he always remembers to pick some up. By the time he goes again (next day, later that night), the egg nog is always gone.
I enjoy egg nog every now and then. (I’ve been mixing some in with my coffee instead of milk and that is amazing). But I was never a huge egg nog fan until five years ago. During my first Christmas visiting the soon to be in-laws, Nate’s mom made me homemade egg nog. Wow.
Someone once told me that making homemade egg nog was super hard. Not at all. I whip out this stuff several times during the holiday season every year. I may not have time to do my laundry or clean my bathrooms, but I can make time to make some nog.
Zion and I made some tonight.
You need milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. So simple.
The recipe calls for cream but I usually just use whole milk. You can make it with skim milk if you want, just realize the amount of cream determines the richness. If I have cream on hand, I’ll throw some in, but I usually don’t have any. Not purchasing heavy whipping cream is a way of closing doors that need to be closed, you might say.
Throw the milk, sugar, and egg yolks into a sauce pan. Separate the egg whites into a bowl so you can whip them later.
Whisk the milk mixture over medium high heat. To be honest, I usually do it over high heat but that’s because I like risk. If you want to be sure you won’t burn it, go for medium-high.
Try to find someone as cute as this to stir for you.
Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until they are foamy. Dump in some vanilla and a quarter cup of sugar. A couple teaspoons is what the recipe calls for, but I don’t believe in measuring vanilla. Also, when you are using imitation vanilla :-(, you really can’t use too much. The stuff is so weak. Dump away. And I use a little less than a quarter cup of sugar. I don’t like my egg nog too sweet, but if Nate were making it, he would probably use a cup of sugar. To each his own.
Turn the mixer back on and blend in the vanilla and sugar until soft peaks form.
Once your milk mixture on the stove has reached a 150 degrees, you can pour your egg white mixture in to the pot. Use your mixer or a whisk and thoroughly blend the egg whites into the hot milk.
How do you know when your mixture has reached a 150 degrees? Candy thermometer. My mother-in-law has one and she knows exactly when to blend in the egg whites.
I don’t own a candy thermometer, but since precision isn’t really me, that’s okay. I just watch the milk. When it’s so hot that there are mini bubbles everywhere, but it’s not officially boiling yet, that’s go time. If you can touch it without getting burned, it’s not hot enough. (Don’t use that test though because if it is hot enough, then you will get burned).
If you want to be a hundred percent sure that your eggs are thoroughly cooked, I’d officially recommend the candy thermometer. Unofficially, I’ve been eating cookie dough for years, so I feel a little hypocritical policing egg temperature.
Once you blend the egg whites in with the milk mixture, you will have frothy deliciousness. Ladle into a mug, put a sprinkle of nutmeg on top, and enjoy feeling ridiculously Christmasy. The nutmeg adds a lot. Don’t skip that step.
Zion and I cuddled up on the couch for Christmas movie night and enjoyed our egg nog. So thankful this boy is home with us and we are making memories like this. Also, look at how precious his toes are.
EGG NOG RECIPE
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup of sugar or less for the milk mixture
1/2 gallon of milk (8 cups)
1/2 cup of heavy cream (optional)
4 egg whites
1/4 cup of sugar or less for the egg white mixture
2 teaspoons of vanilla
dashes of nutmeg
Mix together egg yolks, 1/2 cup sugar, milk and cream in large 6-quart saucepan. Heat and stir continually over medium heat until mixture reaches 150 degrees.
Whip egg whites until foamy. Gradually add the 1/4 cup sugar and vanilla beating to soft peaks.
Beat and blend thoroughly the egg whites into the hot milk mixture. Serve immediately in mugs with a dash of nutmeg on top.