Studying Time: 4 minutes
Like fruitcake, there’s no center floor in terms of voicing one’s opinion concerning the style of eggnog. Some of us relish the creamy concoction with nice anticipation in the course of the holidays, whereas others would slightly pour it into the closest poinsettia plant.
Then there’s the talk about store-bought merchandise vs. Nana’s scrumptious selfmade recipe. If it’s not the true McCoy, many eggnog connoisseurs would slightly select a sizzling mulled wine, refusing to even think about sipping one thing from a typical container discovered within the dairy aisle. What about including alcoholic spirits to the combination? Some are adamant, saying completely not, particularly if youngsters are current, whereas others focus on the deserves of their favourite libation — the whole lot from brandy to rum.
Begin a dialog about eggnog, and see what occurs. One might untangle a field of Christmas lights and adorn a six-foot pine tree from prime to backside whereas individuals proceed nattering on concerning the beverage with nice emotion. There’s simply one thing a couple of glass of eggnog that sparks a energetic alternate of concepts.
A Little bit of Historical past
Conventional eggnog is a velvety combination of milk, sugar, egg yolks, whipped egg whites, heavy cream, vanilla extract, and fragrant spices — cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. It’s a basic vacation beverage that’s loved from Thanksgiving to New 12 months’s Day — often served chilled in a glass cup or mug with a dollop of whipped cream on prime.
The phrase “nog” was first utilized in North America within the late 1600s, stemming from noggin, a time period used within the Center Ages to explain a small, carved wood mug. Different names embody egg-and-grog, milk punch, and spiced egg milk. A nog or nug (robust drink) was additionally quite a lot of ale brewed in East Anglia — an space on the east coast of England that features the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire.
Lengthy earlier than eggs and nog had been utilized in language, the phrase was known as posset (traditionally spelled poshote, poshotte, or possenet), a sizzling drink of sweetened and spiced milk curdled with sack, a wine much like sherry. British monks in the course of the 13th century are believed to be the primary people to mix such components. They favored their robust and spicy brew served with figs, believing it was a treatment for congestion, fever, flu, and as a sleep-aid.
Posset by no means resembled the beverage we all know in the present day. It really served two functions — a heat, mulled, eggy milk drink and a gooey dessert mixed collectively in a two-handled ceramic or steel vessel known as a posset pot. The dessert portion was a thick layer of gruel, fabricated from sweetened porridge, bread, fruit, and almond paste, floating above the liquid. The posset pot was often handed from one particular person to the subsequent, the place mugs had been stuffed from the spout, and spoonfuls of the mush scooped out from the middle opening. Passing the posset pot was a preferred customized in the course of the Center Ages at weddings — toasting the bride and groom with good luck and prosperity. Usually, the comfortable couple acquired the posset pot after the reception as a housewarming reward.
The apply of having fun with a little bit of brew and dessert continued into the 17th century — each with royalty and the typical particular person stopping by the pub. Evidently, Shakespeare was a fan. He talked about possets in a handful of his performs, together with Hamlet, and The Merry Wives of Windsor. And, it was Girl Macbeth who used a jug of posset to poison the guards outdoors Duncan’s quarters so her husband might homicide the king and take the Scottish throne for himself.
In America, the mix of milk and eggs, with out the added gruel, turned a preferred drink in the course of the 1700s, particularly at gatherings at Christmastime. George Washington was an enormous fan, creating his personal recipe laced with a beneficiant quantity of brandy, rye whiskey, darkish Jamaican rum, and a little bit of cream sherry. He and Martha’s friends had been typically warned concerning the efficiency of the vacation punch bowl.
Right this moment, posset is a fragile, chilled dessert, much like a luxuriously mousse or pudding. It’s mild and refreshing, made with simply three components: cream, sugar, and lemon or different citrus juice.
Baking with Eggnog
There’s extra to this velvety beverage served in a crystal cup; eggnog is a superb substitute for milk and buttermilk, including an additional little bit of sweetness and spice to a recipe. It’s a tasty addition to cookies, muffins, pies, bread pudding, cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, and fast breads. Why not begin the morning with a heaping platter of pancakes made with eggnog, or serve up some French toast and waffles, sprinkled with powdered sugar and a splash of nutmeg?
It’s not only for breakfast or dessert; a spoonful can perk up a cup of espresso or some chai tea for a calming deal with. It’s additionally simple to whip up a scrumptious eggnog latte. Simply mix it with one’s favourite brewed espresso and nutmeg — mixing till frothy in an electrical mixer. Prime it with whipped cream for a festive drink.
Savory dishes like this Eggnog Candy Potato Casserole can add a brand new twist to autumn and vacation meals. Made with mashed candy potatoes, it may be ready the day earlier than; simply refrigerate in a single day, and let it stand at room temperature earlier than popping into the oven.
Eggnog Candy Potato Casserole
- 5 or 6 massive candy potatoes
- 2/3 cup eggnog — store-bought or selfmade
- 1 egg
- ½ cup golden raisins or dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon floor cloves
- 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ oatmeal — quick-cooking oats
- ¼ cup brown sugar — packed
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- ¼ cup chopped pecans or walnuts — non-compulsory
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Scrub candy potatoes and pierce with a fork.
- Bake one hour till tender within the oven at 350 levels F or prepare dinner in microwave.
- Let cool. Peel and mash. Yield: roughly six cups.
- Stir collectively the mashed candy potatoes and different components.
- Place in a greased baking dish.
- Combine components collectively.
- Sprinkle over mashed candy potatoes.
Bake uncovered 35 minutes at 350 levels F till the topping is calmly browned.
As most cooks know, it’s enjoyable experimenting with one thing new on the dinner desk or breakfast brunch. Eggnog can liven issues up, particularly for these people who draw back from a calming cup of the beverage. They simply may turn out to be an aficionado when served a pleasant slice of pumpkin pie this vacation season. It’s as much as the host to disclose what makes that dessert so scrumptious!
For Yard Poultry editor Marissa Ames’ timeless eggnog recipe, click on HERE!
Initially revealed within the December 2020/January 2021 challenge of Yard Poultry and recurrently vetted for accuracy.