So I guess this is how we do winter in Southern California. We wear sweaters when temps dip into the lower 60s, and we string Christmas lights on palm trees. We cut out paper snowflakes and bake snowflake cookies and listen to “White Christmas” on repeat. And we make holiday-inspired ice cream because, after all, it’s still ice cream season here.
I’m heading to Minnesota next week to get my fill of winter, but I thought I’d give this recipe a whirl before heading to the frozen tundra. Oh my, is it delicious. If you like eggnog (and you really have to like eggnog) you will love this take on it. Also, it’s for grownups. Yep, I spiked the ice cream. (SNL might think that Adele is the answer to holiday family squabbles, but I say if that doesn’t work, try a boozy dessert.)
Adding 1/4 cup of alcohol means the ice cream churns up very soft, but don’t fret! Chill the freshly churned ice cream in your freezer for a few hours and it will firm up nicely but still be delightfully scoopable.
One more thing you should know: freshly grated nutmeg is a must here. I got whole nutmeg from Penzey’s and gently rubbed one of the seeds over my microplane grater until I had a teaspoonful. (The phrase, “What is this lovely fragrance?” definitely entered my mind.)
Wishing you all a lovely holiday season! Thanks for indulging me in yet another year of cooking adventures!
Eggnog Ice Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream*
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2/3 cup sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg**
- 4 Tbs. brandy, dark rum, or bourbon***
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
Pour the cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. Set aside.
Whisk egg yolks together in a medium bowl.
Whisk the milk, sugar, and salt together in a medium saucepan. Warm over medium-low heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar, until the mixture is steamy but not boiling. Carefully pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, a little bit at a time, while whisking constantly.
Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir the mixture constantly, making sure to scrape the bottom, until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. (The mixture should reach 170° F on an instant-read thermometer.) Pour the mixture through the strainer and into the cream. Stir in nutmeg, spirits, and vanilla extract.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator and then churn in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve with more freshly grated nutmeg, if desired.
Makes about 1 quart.
Okay, lots of notes here:
* As always, I made this lactose-free by substituting equal amounts of lactose-free half-and-half for both the cream and milk.
** Here’s one of my favorite cooking tips from this recipe: Fold a piece of paper in half, open it, and grate the nutmeg onto the paper. Then refold the paper along the crease to carefully direct the grated nutmeg into your teaspoon.
*** David Lebovitz suggests a mixture of 2 Tbs. brandy and 2 Tbs. dark rum. I did 4 Tbs. bourbon and it was fantastic. Feel free to experiment!
Source: Slightly adapted from The Perfect Scoop.