When I think back to my childhood, the holiday foods I think about are eggnog and Mandarin oranges. Sweets and treats like shortbread cookies, and turkey dinner are on the list as well, but my first thoughts go to eggnog and oranges because when they became available you knew it was the holiday season. I loved the sweet, rich flavour of thick eggnog. It was a treat that needed to be savoured because it didn’t last long in our house.
Made from Scratch
As an adult, I’ve had the occasional eggnog during the holiday season (plain, not spiked) but I usually mix it with milk to suit my personal taste. I had never entertained the idea of making it from scratch—until I came across this recipe for Holiday Cheer Eggnog that made it seem so easy. It uses simple ingredients like milk, eggs and honey and also addresses some concerns that I had with traditional recipes:
- The eggnog is cooked, so it doesn’t contain raw eggs (consuming raw eggs can lead to food poisoning).
- It is a lighter version because it uses milk instead of cream or whipped cream.
- This recipe calls for a lot less sugar.
This recipe requires a lot of whisking! It’s critical because you cook the egg/milk mixture to make a thin custard—without constant whisking the egg will clump and you’ll have scrambled eggs in your nog! When making this recipe, use a low temperature, keep whisking and don’t let it boil. You’ll know it’s ready when it coats the back of a spoon. It’s best to prepare this a day ahead as it has to sit in the fridge for at least three hours to set.
The result was really good and was a great example of how a commercial product can be easily made at home, where you can control the ingredients. It was flavourful and creamy without being too sweet or rich. I thought it could use a little less vanilla and maybe a pinch of spice, like cinnamon or nutmeg, but otherwise this was a nice holiday treat and brought back fond childhood memories for me! How do you spell it—eggnog, egg nog, or egg-nog?
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Written by a Registered Dietitian.