Lorrie's "Rouse the Hunt" Eggnog
(inspired by dduane
's Mysterious Miss S., lferion
and Alton Brown)
Yield: Well over a gallon; call it five quarts.
12 large eggs, separated*
1 lb casters, superfine, or confectioners sugar** (approx 3 3/4 cups)
2 qt whole milk
1 qt heavy cream
1 1/2 c dark rum (e.g. Myers') (half a big bottle/a whole little bottle
1 1/2 c good bourbon whiskey (e.g. Maker's Mark)
much nutmeg, to be grated on the spot--or you'll get the back of my hand!
Crack each egg into a small bowl. Put the yolk in one medium bowl, and the white in another. This will only seem like too much fuss until you screw up separating one of the eggs, and then you'll thank me. Repeat for the whole dozen eggs.
Now take all those whites, which should be about 1 1/2 c, seal them up in something airtight, and pop it into the refrigerator. We'll get back to them tomorrow morning.
Meanwhile, whisk the yolks together until they are of a uniform consistency and have lightened in color. Now slowly add the sugar while continuing to whisk, always aiming to incorporate old sugar as new sugar is added. By the time you're through, it'll be quite thick in there, like a thick batter or thin dough. That's okay, you're about to thin it right back up.
Begin adding the milk. As you incorporate it into the sugary yolks, it will thin back up considerably (hooray). At some point...you're gonna need a bigger
bowl, so transfer it then. Once you're done adding the milk, go for the cream.
Now, before you grab that booze, a sidebar:
This is just about the only pothole in the crafting of eggnog: when a big blob of alcohol hits an innocent strand of protein, the protein grabs onto all of its buddies, and they go into a big clumpy huddle. Those proteins call their friends in, and they call their friends, and so on, and so on. You want this to happen slowly, gradually, throughout the pitcher because that'll thicken the whole thing, rather like a custard. Do it wrong and the protein forms scared, clumpy lumps, which really isn't what you wanted. Separating the eggs was the first step in keeping this wolf at bay, as those whites were nearly all protein, but here's the other:
Pour the booze into the egg mixture v-e-r-y s.l..o...w....l.....y. Trickle it. Use a measuring cup if that'll help, and stir your proto-nog all the while.
Apply all of this to a pitcher, and throw the pitcher in the chill chest for not less than overnight. Well, okay, you can have a small taste...but I suggest a shotglass.
The next morning, you may, if you like, whip the egg whites to soft peaks, sprinkle in some more sugar to ensure they'll stay...firm...then whip to stiff peaks and stir into the mix. Whipping the tar out of those whites gets those proteins all coagulated, and will lighten the texture of your eggnog considerably.
It'll stay good in the refrigerator for several days--many, really. Embrace the power of booze!
* - Los federales would like you to know that so much as looking crosswise at a raw egg means certain death from salmonella. This is generally only a problem for people with weakened immune systems: very young children, old people, and otherwise immuno-compromised. If that's your deal, find one of the cooked recipes. However, even if it isn't, this would be a great time to splurge on those highfalutin' eggs.
** - Casters sugar may be hard to find at the local megamart; I specifically went to the local snooty grocery looking for it. Most stores I've been to in California have a "superfine" that's finer than granulated but not as fine as confectioners (or as casters), but should do fine here. Confectioners is ground quite well enough, but has cellulose in it as an anti-caking agent, which can throw off the taste and inhibit some of the coagulation you're aiming for. Why such a fine grind? So it takes less than all year to dissolve in a cold liquid...
PS: Note to Self: The two dozen eggshells of your courageous double batch, once run through the disposal, turn your kitchen sink's drainpipe into a filter. This is suboptimal. Do not do that again