Okay, it’s the holidays, who doesn’t love eggnog? Of course you could buy all the eggnog you want from the store, but that’s boring. Searching through the cookbooks we have, I found no fewer than three different eggnog recipes. The one that appeals to me the most is a combination of an egg custard and whipped cream; the others use uncooked eggs and while I know there’s almost a zero chance of getting salmonella from properly handled and stored eggs, the thought of consuming anything that’s mostly raw egg just doesn’t sit well with me.

Here’s the preferred recipe, from Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook. It says it makes about 10 servings of ½ cup each.

Ingredients for the egg custard:

  • 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • 2½ cups milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Mix eggs, sugar and salt in heavy 2-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in milk. Cook over medium heat 10 to 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture just coats a metal spoon; remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Place saucepan in cold water until custard is cool. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours but no longer than 24 hours.

Ingredients for the whipped cream:

  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup rum (subsitute 1 tsp. vanilla for non-alcoholic)
  • 1 to 2 drops yellow food color, if desired
  • Ground nutmeg

Beat whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla in chilled medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff. Gently stir 1 cup of the whipped cream, the rum and the food color into custard. Pour custard mixture into small punch bowl. Drop remaining whipped cream in mounds onto custard mixture. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Serve immediately. Refrigerate any remaining eggnog.

Sounds pretty good to me. Now, here’s an old recipe for a single serving of eggnog, from the 1956 Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook:

  • Beat together 1 well-beaten egg and 2 tbsp. sugar.
  • Beat in 1 cup chilled rich milk and either ¼ tsp. vanilla or 1½ tsp. sherry flavoring and 1 tbsp. brandy or rum.
  • Serve cold in a tall glass sprinkled lightly with nutmeg.

Yeah. Not sure about that. Anyway, that’s one variation; the other, from The Joy of Cooking, calls for separating the yolks from the whites, beating the whites to stiff peaks and folding them back into the mixture:

  • Beat until light 12 large egg yolks.
  • Gradually beat in 1 pound powdered sugar.
  • Add very slowly, beating constantly, 2 cups dark rum, brandy, bourbon or rye, or a combination.
  • Let stand, covered, for 1 hour to dispel the eggy taste.
  • Add, beating constantly, 2 to 4 cups chosen liquor(s) and 8 cups heavy cream.
  • Refrigerate, covered, for 3 hours.
  • In another large bowl beat until the peaks are stiff 12 large egg whites.
  • Fold the egg whites gently into the other ingredients.

The recipe claims this makes 40 servings! My favorite part is the “dispel eggy taste.” That just sounds nasty.

Otherwise, drink up! And if it tastes too eggy or you get salmonella, well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.