Eggnog — the raw and the cooked
3 eggs, separated
½ cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
Optional: Grated nutmeg
Beat the egg whites (using the whisk attachment if you’re using a stand mixer), starting on low speed until they begin to foam, then raising the speed to high. When they start to form soft peaks, slowly pour in ¼ cup of sugar and continue to beat until the whites are glossy and form stiff peaks. Scrape the beaten whites into a serving bowl with a spatula. Then add the egg yolks to the mixing bowl and beat for a couple of minutes on high speed. Add the remaining ¼ cup sugar, one tablespoon at a time, and continue beating for a few minutes until very light and fluffy. You’ll know you’re done when you stick a finger in the mixture and you don’t feel any grit from the sugar. Then mix in the milk and cream, making sure to scrape the bowl thoroughly. Pour the yolk mixture over the whites in the serving bowl, then gently fold the two together. Sprinkle with grated nutmeg to taste.
For an alcoholic version, add between ½ cup and 1 cup of bourbon or rum to the yolk mixture before you add it to the beaten whites. You can also add a mixture of bourbon and brandy.
5 tablespoons sugar
2 cups whole milk, heated until it just comes to the boil
½ cup whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks with 1 tablespoon sugar
Beat the eggs with the 5 tablespoons sugar until the mixture is thick and lemon-colored. Keep beating the mixture and slowly add ¼ cup of the heated milk. Transfer the mixture to a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Whisking all the time, slowly add the rest of the hot milk. Cook over medium low heat, stirring all the time, until the custard measures at least 160 degrees F on a candy thermometer. (That’s hot enough to kill the harmful bacteria – you can go to 170 without difficulty, but the mixture might start to curdle at 180). The foam on the top will be mostly gone. Immediately take the mixture off the heat and strain it through a fine strainer. Chill the mixture, then fold in the whipped cream. Top with freshly-grated nutmeg.
For an alcoholic version, stir ½ cup brandy and 2 tablespoons rum into the cooled egg mixture before you fold in the whipped cream.