Monday, January 2, 2012

Eggnog Ice Cream and a 90's New Year's Party

Saturday night, we went to a party at a friend's house, and everyone had to wear something 90's-inspired.  Although I spent most of high school wearing ratty jeans, white tank tops and my dad's flannel shirts - a phase I think my parents were glad to see go away - I went early-90's with a punk look, even crimping my hair, which I haven't done since I was maybe 14.

Jamie went all out with a Vanilla Ice look, even painting his thrift-store acid washed jeans, having me cut his hair in that "shelf" style (there will be another haircut today to bring it back to normal), and lots of gold jewelry.  There was plenty of flannel at the party, along with french braids, scrunchies and high-waisted mom jeans.  Even the baby at the party got her own little mini flannel shirt.

Ah, the 90's.  I have to say, I'm so glad fashion has evolved since then.  But in another 20 years, will I think that what I wear now is ridiculous?

You guys know by now that I just love eggnog, and I've made a lot of eggnog recipes lately.  I assure you, this will be my last...  at least until next winter...

For Christmas, my parents bought me the ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, and I couldn't have been more excited to try it out.  I've attempted making ice cream before - without an ice cream maker - and every time, ended up with a block of ice in the freezer.  That's partly because I keep trying to make low-fat/low-sugar versions with yogurt and fruit, and the higher water content and lower fat content means a less creamy texture.  Although I do plan to try some lighter options with the ice cream maker and see if I get better results, I knew I wanted to use up the rest of the eggnog in our fridge to make ice cream.

Maybe this first ice cream I've made doesn't really count - since I didn't have to make a custard - but I also know that busy people out there appreciate easy recipes that don't call for a lot of prep work, and this is definitely one of those recipes.

Eggnog is naturally custard-like, since it contains cream and eggs, so there's no custard-making step in this recipe.  Of course, if it's off-season and you can't buy eggnog, there are plenty of recipes online for making a custard base with eggs, cream, nutmeg, etc...  to make an eggnog ice cream.  I don't know that I would crave eggnog ice cream in the summer, though - having eggnog only in December makes it a little special since you have to wait for it.

I didn't measure exactly, but for this recipe you really don't have to.  I just mixed up the last of the eggnog we had - I'd guess about 3 cups - plus a cup of whipping cream that needed to be used.  Then just some grated nutmeg, vanilla and bourbon to taste.  If you don't like bourbon, then you can add a little dark rum or Kahlua, but I'll tell you, I don't like bourbon at all on its own, but I love it in desserts.  Also, since alcohol doesn't freeze, adding a few tablespoons to the ice cream base will help it stay creamy instead of getting icy, and the vanilla helps with that as well.  I didn't add any sugar since I didn't want too much sweetness to overpower the flavor of the eggnog.

I poured everything into the ice cream bowl (which needs to be frozen beforehand for 15 hours), and after 20 minutes of churning with the mixer, it had a creamy, silky consistency of soft-serve ice cream.  It also really grew in size as air was incorporated during the churning, so it made a lot more ice cream than I was expecting, almost 2 quarts.  Then I transferred it to a container to freeze until firm.

The flavor was delicious with the eggnog, nutmeg, vanilla and bourbon.  I sprinkled a few chopped nuts on top for a little texture, and it would also be amazing with a simple shortbread cookie.

And now there will be no more eggnog posts for another 11 months, but that's all right.  Because there are so many other delicious ingredients out there!

Eggnog Ice Cream
printable recipe
  • 3 cups cold eggnog
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream or whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons Bourbon, dark Rum or Kahlua
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine all the ingredients and freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions (For a Kitchen Aid ice cream maker attachment, freeze the bowl for 15 hours.  Mix ingredients in the bowl for 15-20 minutes until the consistency of soft-serve.  Transfer to a container and freeze until firm.)

Garnish with a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg, and serve with shortbread cookies or chopped, candied almonds and pecans.

Yields almost 2 quarts.