Looking for something to serve with those cinnamon rolls?  Well, Tim’s got just the thing for you.  To think, I started you off this holiday looking for broccoli and lemon (nice), and now you’ve made another run to the store for all the (naughty) typical holiday ingredients: butter, sugar, eggs, cream, alcohol.  Fresh Nutmeg*.

The resulting ‘nog zings the palate with a spicy rum flavor, then mellows with rich rich cream.  Serve in mouthwash-sized cups.  This is a cooked eggnog recipe, containing no raw eggs (even though everyone knows a heavy hand with the rum will kill any bacteria lurking in your eggs).  If you have not made a custard before, do not be afraid.  I have a few hints below that will help.  If you have not licked a bowl after making a custard before, prepare yourself.

Nog (makes enough for the Christmas Party)

  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 1  1/2 cup fine sugar
  • 1 quart (light) cream
  • 2 1/2 cups spiced rum
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
  1. Place the milk, cloves and cinnamon sticks in a pot over very low heat until it just comes to a boil.  Lower the heat to very low and steep for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and fish out the cloves and cinnamon sticks.
  2. In a separate bowl, use a mixer on the lowest speed to combine egg yolks and sugar.
  3. Make a custard while avoiding scrambled eggs: With mixer running, slowly stream in the hot milk. Return the mixture to the pan and heat over very low heat, whisking almost-vigorously and constantly until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon (or the tines of a whisk) but not pudding-thick.
  4. Pour into a heat proof bowl and refrigerate at least 1 hour.  What if you notice you now have scrambled eggs.  All is not lost – pour your custard into the blender and whizz it up.  Then chill.  It will be fine.
  5. Mix cream, rum and vanilla in a separate measuring cup.  After the custard has cooled, combine these two together and chill over night.
  6. Serve cold or hot, sprinkled generously with fresh ground nutmeg.

*A rant about nutmeg:  Fresh ground nutmeg is the only way to go, ever.  It makes such a huge difference, I can’t even explain.  This is all coming from someone living in the land of nutmeg.  Seriously, it’s everywhere.  I suspect it is the colorful cousin of Penang’s official nut, the betel nut.  I got 20 whole nutmegs for 60 cents, but I think they are a little more expensive in the states.  But they are available (everything is available in the US!)  This recipe will use half of one.  Next year, you can all look for whole nutmegs in your stockings, but this year, do yourself a favor and add them to the “nice” column of your grocery shopping list, above.

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