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Eggnog Ice Cream

Homemade eggnog ice cream, with egg yolks, cream, milk, sugar, and eggnog spices.

Eggnog Ice Cream
Elise Bauer

Admission, I love eggnog.

When I was a kid my parents would get a couple cartons at a time, which they still had to ration, because I, like my 5 siblings, could easily drink a carton apiece.

These days I make my own eggnog, and sadly must submit again to rationing, self-imposed this time, for the sake of my not-so-girlish-anymore figure.

A reader suggested that eggnog would make a good ice cream, and once that idea lodged in my brain it never let go until the ice cream was made. Three cheers for all things eggnog!

Turning Eggnog Into Ice Cream

This recipe is similar to the eggnog recipe, but with a couple more egg yolks, and a slightly different milk to cream ratio. And then, of course, churned into ice cream.

You could probably easily use already prepared eggnog, even the store-bought stuff. But if you've happened to spike it to the point of tasting the alcohol, it won't churn into ice cream because the alcohol won't freeze.

Best Mix-Ins for Eggnog Ice Cream

Want to make an extra-special batch of eggnog ice cream? Consider adding one of these mix-ins to the ice cream at the end of churning.

Can't Get Enough Eggnog?

Eggnog Ice Cream

Prep Time 60 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Chilling and Freezing 12 hrs
Total Time 13 hrs
Yield 1 quart
Adding a couple of tablespoons of a spirit like rum, bourbon, or brandy to the eggnog ice cream base will help the ice cream from getting too icy if you store it for more than a day. You can skip the alcohol, but if you do, you should eat up the ice cream the day you make it.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 2/3 cup white, granulated sugar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp rum, bourbon, or brandy

Method

  1. Infuse milk and cream with spices:

    Put the 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of the cream into a heavy saucepan (2 quart). Add the cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt and heat until steamy, but not boiling.

    Lower the heat to warm, cover, and let spices steep for at least a half hour. Pick out the whole cloves and discard.

  2. Add sugar:

    Stir the sugar into the milk cream base until the sugar dissolves.

  3. Put remaining cream in bowl over ice bath:

    Put remaining 1 cup cream in a metal bowl, resting in a larger bowl of ice water. Place a fine mesh strainer over the bowl of cream.

    mesh strainer over the bowl of eggnog cream
    Elise Bauer
  4. Temper the eggs with the heated cream milk mixture:

    Whisk the egg yolks in a medium sized bowl. Slowly pour about half of the heated cream milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that the egg yolks are tempered by the warm mixture, but not cooked by it.

    Scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

    Warm Egg Yolks Being Poured into Sauce Pan
    Elise Bauer
  5. Heat mixture to make custard base:

    Return the saucepan to the stove on medium heat, stirring the mixture constantly with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon. You should be able to run your finger across the coating and have the coating not run. This can take about 10 minutes.

    The second the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, it should be removed from heat immediately, and poured through the sieve over the ice bath to stop the cooking (see the next step).

    Spoon stirring eggnog ice cream mixture
    Elise Bauer
    Wooden spoon without egg coating
    Elise Bauer

    If the custard base doesn't coat the back of the spoon, it's not ready.

    Wooden spoon with custard coating
    Elise Bauer
    Spoon with eggnog ice cream coating
    Elise Bauer

    The custard coats the back of the spoon.

  6. Strain custard into cream over ice bath, then chill:

    Pour the custard through the strainer you set up over an ice bath in step 3, and stir it into the cold cream to stop the cooking. Once initially chilled in the ice bath, chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator (at least a couple of hours).

  7. Stir in vanilla extract and rum/bourbon/brandy:

    When it comes time to churn the ice cream, stir in the vanilla extract and the rum, bourbon, or brandy.

  8. Process in ice cream maker:

    Churn the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  9. Transfer to container, store in freezer:

    Remove ice cream from the ice cream maker and transfer it to an airtight container; store in your freezer for several hours before eating.

    Note that the ice cream will be quite soft coming out of the ice cream maker. It will continue to harden in your freezer. If stored for more than a day, you may need to let it sit for a few minutes to soften before attempting to scoop it.

Links:

How to make ice cream without a machine - tips by David Lebovitz