Saturday, December 17, 2011

Eggnog, An Old Holiday Tradition

Eggnog has oodles of calories, too many to mention.  But since we only drink it once a year, I want the real thing.  Down through history, people weren't afraid of fat or sugar, they just didn't overdo it.  Processed foods didn't exist until modern times, and the majority of people weren't rich enough to be couch potatoes.  So let's learn a lesson from our ancestors.  Enjoy a few holiday treats, but in moderation.  And whenever possible, make them yourself using the finest ingredients.  Trust me, if you prepare eggnog from stretch, you won't get fat, because you won't make it that often!

Eggnog comes to us from England, although some historians think it aquired its name in the New World.  The drink became popular with the British upper class, who could afford milk and eggs in an age before refrigeration.  They mixed it with brandy, Madeira wine or sherry.  When the beverage crossed the Atlantic, the colonists, in an effort to avoid a wine tax, used rum and later bourbon to make the brew.  Egg and grog (i.e. spirits, rum) got shortened to eggnog.  Ha! Alcohol has that effect!  

In Great Britain, Canada and the US, eggnog is served to celebrate Thanksgiving [USA], Christmas and New Year's.

Traditionally, it is a social drink.  When quality matters, and you want to give your guests the very best, make this recipe:

Old Fashioned Eggnog
6 pasteurized eggs  {sold at 7 Eleven, C-Town, Associated, Whole Foods and many grocery chains.  Or pasteurize the raw eggs yourself. Here's how.}
¾ cup sugar
4 cups whole milk
4 cups {whippingcream
½ cup brandy
½ cup rum
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
½ cup confectionery sugar
sprinkle cinnamon
sprinkle nutmeg
1.  Separate the eggs: yolks and whites.
2. Beat the yolks, then add ¾ cup sugar, a little at a time.
3. Add in the brandy, rum and vanilla.  Beat, beat, beat.
4. Next add and whisk in the milk and half of the cream.
5. Set aside until serving.
6. Then beat the egg whites until stiff, and fold the whites into the eggnog mixture.
7. Combine the rest of the cream and confectionery sugar, and whip until thick.
8. Pour the eggnog into 8 glasses, and top each serving with the {whipped} cream.
9. Garnish with cinnamon and nutmeg. (Extra points if you grind your own.)


I also make a tasty, easy, low-fat eggnog custard.
6 eggs
¼ cup sugar
12 ounces evaporated skim milk
3 cups skim milk
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼  teaspoon nutmeg
1) Combine all the ingredients into a mixing bowl, one at a time, and beat with an electric mixer.
2) Pour into a sauce pan and heat on the stovetop, stirring continuously.
3) Simmer about 5 minutes until it thickens.
4) Let the custard cool a bit before pouring the mixture into a blender and mix for a minute or so.  This step produces a light custard.
5) Pour into 8 custard dishes.  Serve it warm, or refrigerate and eat cold.

You can turn this custard recipe into a low-fat eggnog drink by not cooking it, but be sure to use pasteurized eggs.  To make a beverage, you also have to separate the eggs; whisk the yolks and whites, separately, as well as, slowly add in, then beat each ingredient.  Enjoy!
You may also enjoy:

1 comment: