Easy Homemade Eggnog
Author: 
Serves: Makes about 6-7 servings
 
I always thought I hated eggnog, until I tried making it from scratch. Now I make this recipe every year for my family and friends (who also thought they hated eggnog, go figure). If you've never had homemade eggnog, I definitely recommend giving this version a try!
Ingredients
  • 6 large egg yolks (I suggest using pasteurized eggs here, see recipe notes below)
  • ½ - ¾ cup granulated sugar, to taste
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • small pinch of salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1-2 oz. bourbon, cognac, or brandy, to taste (optional)
  • 1-2 oz. rum, to taste (optional)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 6 large egg whites + 1 TBSP sugar (optional)*
  • Whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg, for serving (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer, beat the egg yolks until smooth and lightened in color. Add the sugar slowly, while mixing, and continue to beat until pale and fluffy. Set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, nutmeg, cinnamon, and pinch of salt. Heat until steaming, stirring occasionally. Do not let it boil!
  3. Slowly temper the egg with the hot milk mixture. To do this, slowly pour the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks and sugar, while whisking constantly. This will keep the eggs from heating too rapidly and scrambling. Once all of the liquid has been incorporated, return the mixture to the saucepan.
  4. Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture begins to thicken slightly, stirring gently but constantly, and scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent scorching. If you have a thermometer, cook until the temperature reaches 160 degrees F. Do not let it boil, or the mixture will curdle!
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and liquors (if using -- I typically leave them out, and add them later if I want them). If there are any lumps, pass the eggnog through a fine mesh strainer.
  6. Chill in the fridge for at least a couple of hours, or overnight, before serving. Fresh eggnog can be stored for up to a 4-5 days or so, or longer if it has the alcohol added. It should be kept in the fridge at all times. Stir well to mix in any of the nutmeg that may have settled to the bottom before serving, and top with fresh whipped cream and extra nutmeg. Enjoy!
Notes
*optional: in a very clean bowl, beat the egg whites until they reach soft peaks. Add one TBSP of sugar, and continue to beat until they have just reached stiff peaks. Whisk the egg whites into the chilled eggnog.
Note that consuming raw eggs increases the risk of salmonella -- to reduce this risk, I suggest using pasteurized eggs, such as Safest Choice™ Pasteurized Eggs, which are processed in a warm-water bath to kill any bad bacteria.


Recipe Notes:
1. I like my eggnog not too sweet, and find it just perfect with a slightly rounded ½ cup of sugar. If you prefer yours a little sweeter, increase the sugar by ¼ cup, or to taste.
2. If you want to mix up the flavor of your eggnog, try adding a few drops of orange extract, a dash of pumpkin pie spice, or a pinch of freshly ground cardamom... or use whatever flavors sound good to you.
3. Traditionally, eggnog is made using raw eggs. Note that consuming raw eggs increases the risk of salmonella -- to avoid that risk, I've included instructions for cooking the eggnog. Or, you can use pasteurized eggs and skip the cooking all together (just add the cold milk directly to the egg yolks and do not heat the mixture). I like Safest Choice™ Pasteurized Eggs, which are pasteurized in an all-natural warm water bath to eliminate the risk of Salmonella. That means you can enjoy raw, homemade eggnog without the worry!
4. Homemade eggnog should be enjoyed within a few days of making it. If you've included the alcohol, it will last longer depending on the amount added. Eggnog should be stored in a jar or airtight container in the fridge at all times.

Recipe adapted (loosely) from the always amazing Alton Brown.

UPDATE: I finally remembered to measure a batch! This makes approx. 4.5 cups of eggnog, without the booze added. I typically do a double batch and get between 9-10 cups, which is plenty for sharing with my family and in-laws.
Recipe by Will Cook For Friends at https://www.willcookforfriends.com/2013/12/easy-homemade-eggnog-fak-friday.html