Monday, January 23, 2012
Eggnog...a winter drink?
A week or so ago a good friend of mine gave me some of her nutmeg that she had bought from the Breadbeckers. It smelled up the kitchen and the pantry and made me think of eggnog.
I have never been a big eggnog drinker, but for some reason the smell of that nutmeg had me craving it. Fortunately for me I had seen a recipe some time earlier on deliciously organics website.
I sort of felt silly for making it. It was a Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's drink, right? Well, who said you had to drink it only during those times. As a matter of fact, the stores will keep it in stock during the winter season. That says to me that it is good year round...I mean, at least for 3 months :)
Since making it (yum, yum) the kids have begged for it. I was surprised since it was thick and frothy. But, they loved it and wanted more. You could definitely make this lower in fat by using skim or a lower percent of milk. For us, we went for all the fat. We are blessed to be able to use raw milk, although you will notice the recipe calls for heating it slowly until 160 degrees. We are also blessed to be able to use organic eggs produced by our beloved hens that we gave to my parents when we moved. They try to supply us with many of them every time we get to see each other.
I remembered a story out of Laura Ingall's "Farmer Boy" that confirmed my notion that eggnog is good year round. This book is dedicated to the life of her husband, Almanzo Wilder, as a young boy growing up on a farm. It is a great read and your kids would love it. During the early harvest when the sun was hot and the days were long they worked nonstop to make sure every thing was harvested and not wasted. Long, tiring days kept them in need of nourishing food to keep up their energy. On one particular day Almanzo's mother called him in to take all the workers a special treat made up by herself. Eggnog. Full of rich milk and cream, eggs and sugar. To that she added some wonderful spices. As they drank it down, it was ice-cold and delicious. Back to work they went with full bellies and renewed strength. Yum. Well, here is an healthier version using maple syrup. Give it a try. You will love it.
6 large eggs
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup maple syrup
5 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon nutmeg (this is a little heavy, which we liked, but you may want to start with lesser amt.)
1/2 cup heavy cream whipped into soft peaks (optional)
Whisk eggs, yolks, and maple syrup in large saucepan until well combined. Whisk in milk, one cup at a time, mixing well. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until candy thermometer reaches 160 degrees or mixture coats the back of the spoon (about 20 -25 minutes). (This is where the kids would come in handy, give 5 minute turns of stirring the custard). Pour through a sieve into large bowl or glass pitcher. Whisk in vanilla and nutmeg. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days.
When serving you can add some whipped cream to the top and sprinkle a little extra nutmeg.
Thankful that we don't always have to follow the "rules",