It’s Tom and Jerry (egg-nog) season

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Are you a fan of egg-nog?

The first time I tried egg-nog it was homemade and handed to me by a German relative-by-friendship. It was strong enough and sweet enough to blow my head off, which it did.

As years went by I forgot about egg-nog until supermarkets started rolling out pre-made versions of it around Christmas time. I tried it one year and it was awful.

Egg-nog and I parted company again.

It wasn’t until I saw an old 1940s American black and white film set during an office Christmas party that egg-nog regained my attention and I remembered celebrating that Christmas Eve sipping a cup of the homemade German version.

In the film staff at the Christmas party were drinking Tom and Jerrys – another name for egg-nog. Feeling inspired and sentimental, I did some quick research online.

There are lots of recipes for egg-nog. Most American-style recipes add bourbon – a new idea to me. After experimenting, I realized what a good idea that is.

Some recipes throw all the ingredients into a blender and hit the button, but that takes away some of the cosy ceremony of being in the moment and creating it yourself.

Forget the pre-made stuff, and make your own. You’ll thank yourself for that tiny extra bit of effort as you sip your deliciously spicy and fluffy homemade version.

How to make a Tom and Jerry

Makes 2 mugs for two people – upsize quantities as needed

3 eggs
¼ cup caster sugar
Dark rum (spiced rum if you have it)
Ground allspice
Ground cinnamon (not cinnamon sugar)
Pinch of ground cloves
2 mugs of full cream milk
Bourbon or brandy (not cognac)
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Separate the egg yolks and egg whites into two small bowls.

Beat the egg whites with an electric hand mixer until stiff.

Add the sugar to the bowl with the egg yolks and mix together until the sugar has dissolved. Then add ½-1 level teaspoon (to taste) of the allspice and cinnamon, then a small pinch of ground cloves.

Slowly stir 1 ½ nips of rum into the egg yolk mixture, taking care not to let it curdle.

Then fold in the beaten egg whites. If the egg whites have started to separate, remix with the hand mixer first.

In a small saucepan, gently heat the milk to very warm but not hot, and stir in the bourbon (or brandy). Then pour the egg mixture one third of the way up each mug.

Lastly pour the warm milk into each mug, stirring constantly.

To garnish, sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg.

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*** Wishing you the best for the holiday season! ***

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