There’s less than two weeks to go until Christmas, can you believe that? Today at lunch I’m going to mail my Christmas cards–a first for me. As in, the first time I’ve mailed my Christmas cards on time! I’ve also started thinking about the big ol’ feast that will happen at my sister’s place on December 24th. My family always makes it a two-day affair because half of us are Polish and half of us are Canadian.
When I was younger, the majority of my Christmas traditions were Polish. We ate fish on Christmas eve, looked for the first star in the sky that evening, and, having found it, opened presents! Then my family expanded and our regular Polish traditions melded with new (to us) Canadian traditions, such as turkey stuffing, Christmas stockings and (my favourite) eggnog.
Now, you can always find eggnog readily available in the supermarket at this time of year. But it isn’t actually that difficult to make your own–and you get to learn how to do more fun kitchen techniques like emulsifying eggs in the process! (Okay, so maybe I’m a bit of a foodie nerd.) I was quite pleased when I discovered this recipe for Christmas Eve Eggnog in the Debbie Macomber Christmas Cookbook. I can always count on Debbie to bring a little extra holiday cheer into any recipe. She’s the Queen of Christmas, after all! The recipe is not difficult to follow and it’s a perfect addition to any holiday party you’re planning, including the most important one of all, whether it be on Dec. 24th or 25th!
- 6 large eggs, separated
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Garnishes: Ground nutmeg, chocolate shavings, cinnamon sticks
1. Place a large bowl in a larger bowl of ice water; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar until thick, for about 2 minutes.
3. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, bring milk, vanilla bean, and a pinch of salt to a simmer. Remove from heat; whisk 1 cup of this hot milk mixture into the yolks. Slowly pour yolk-milk mixture into milk remaining in saucepan. Place pan over medium heat; cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture reaches 160F and is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
4. Strain eggnog base through a fine-mesh sieve into bowl in ice bath. Let cool for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, for about 1 hour.
5. Whisk brandy and cream into chilled eggnog. In large bowl using an electric mixer on high speed, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar; beat on high until stiff peaks form. Gently fold whites into eggnog until blended. Cover, refrigerate for several hours or overnight, or until cold. Pour into a pitcher to serve. Garnish servings as desired.
I hope you get a chance to try this recipe out. Let me know in the comments if you do. Or tell me what your favourite holiday recipe is. Maybe we can start our own Harlequin Blog holiday recipe collection?