There are a lot of recipes from my mom that bring me back to my childhood - autumn chowder, spaghetti sauce, Swedish tea ring...and this recipe for homemade eggnog.
Mom would make huge batches and store it in emptied-out milk jugs. I remember opening the refrigerator door and realizing the gallon of milk had been replaced with a rich, creamy alternative. It was pretty much the best day ever. If she was entertaining, there would be enough 'nog to satisfy a crowd, and you could usually find me frequenting the punch bowl in the dining room to refill my glass.
Of course, no alcohol was added to my childhood version. I hesitate to change Mom's recipes, but in my adult opinion, a splash of bourbon is a worthwhile addition.
Mom's Homemade Eggnog
1-2 quarts of milk (depending on how rich you like it)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup of heavy cream
Bourbon, rum or brandy (optional)
Ground nutmeg for topping
In a medium saucepan, beat the eggs. Whisk in 3-4 cups of the milk. Place the saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Make sure the mixture doesn't boil!
Remove the pan from the heat. At this point, I like to strain the mixture through a fine strainer to remove any accidental bits of cooked egg. Slowly stir in the sweetened condensed milk and the vanilla. Add as much additional milk as you like to reach the desired richness. Refrigerate this custard for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
Soon before you're ready to serve the eggnog, whip the heavy cream until peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the custard mixture until fully incorporated. For the adult version, add bourbon, rum or brandy to taste.
Pour into individual glasses and top with ground nutmeg. Serve and enjoy!