Oh my! How on earth did the time pass so quickly? Christmas is almost upon us, and I am madly scrambling to get everything together, including last minute menu planning and present buying. Luckily, my cousin Crystal's come down from Victoria to spend her first Canadian Christmas with us, and she's such a delight. From her squeals when she saw snow for the first time, her boundless energy, her desperation to go sledding and make snowmen (which I've had to dampen, seeing as its below 30 C out there :)) to her enthusiasm about all things Christmas, its been like my first ever time that I saw snow and spent Christmas with my Kay in England all over again. She was even excited about the turkey and all the leftovers, for er... Christmas' sake :) Its like I see everything through her eyes, and its kind of magical, all over again.
As I spoke in my previous post though, I have actually held off baking this year. Partly because both Kay and I have been trying lose weight and eat healthier, but the lack of time was also a contributing factor. But of course, I can't possibly give up my one indulgence, eggnog. I love eggnog, but have been pretty unadventurous with it until now... I was thinking of a dessert to make to have with Kathryn's mum's Christmas pudding, and of course - eggnog ice cream, how much more Christmassy can we get?
This is a very simple, classic recipe for eggnog that I've been making for a while now. All I did was increase up the sugar a bit, decrease the rum (I know, the agony!) and I used a cup of whipping cream to increase the creaminess of the ice cream.
I was pretty pleased with the end result! It had the right balance of cream and booze, and even better, tasted so delicious with lots of fresh nutmeg grated on top. My head os already buzzing with ideas for next year. Perhaps an orange flavoured ones with Grand Marnier or cognac, perhaps? Or a minty one? The possibilities are only limited by your imagination, so ahoy for eggnog icecream, I only wish we could have it all year round (ahem... now that gives me another idea...)
3 cups half and half
¾ cup sugar
1 vanilla pod, split open
1 cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
6 egg yolks
1 cup whipping cream, chilled
2 - 3 tablespoons rum (or brandy, whiskey, grand marnier...)
Extra fresh grated nutmeg, to serve
Place the half and half, sugar, vanilla pod, cinnamon stick and fresh grated nutmeg in a heavy pot, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for a few minutes, and then turn off the heat and leave to infuse for about ½ hour.
Whisk together the egg yolks in a large bowl.
Remove the vanilla pod and the cinnamon stick from the half and half mixture, reheat, then slowly pour it into the egg yolks, whisking constantly.
Scrape back into a saucepan, and place on a gentle heat, stirring often, until the custard thickens. This will take about 8 – 10 minutes, or when the custard reaches a temperature of 160 F.
Strain immediately into a clean bowl, and add the chilled whipping cream. Stir together until well mixed and add the rum.
Chill the mixture until completely cold, ideally overnight. When completely cold, churn in an ice cream machine, following its instructions. Grate fresh nutmeg over scoops of ice cream while serving. Goes really well with Christmas pudding.
If you do not have an ice cream machine, place the chilled mixture in a freezerproof container and place in the freezer. Take out after an hour, and whisk well, scraping down any ice crystals. Place back in the freezer for half hour, then take out an whisk again. Do this every so often for at least two – three hours, then scrape into a container, and freeze overnight.