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Homemade Maple Eggnog

This Homemade Maple Eggnog is smooth, lightly thick and creamy with a hint of nutmeg, and sweetened with pure maple syrup. And it's cooked, so there's no raw eggs to worry about with your cup of cheer!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Chill Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 8 (approximately ¾ cup each; recipe makes about 7 cups total)
Calories: 314kcal
Author: Michelle / Now Cook This!

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs
  • ¾ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract, optional (but recommended)
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, plus extra for topping each serving
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions

  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan (I use a 3-quart pot), whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, and salt until well-combined.
  • Stir in 2 cups of the milk and whisk until well-combined.
    Keep the remaining 2 cups of milk in the refrigerator so it stays cold until ready to use; this will help cool down the hot egg mixture later.
  • Cook the egg mixture over low heat, stirring slowly and constantly, just until the temperature reaches 160 to 165°F (you must cook it to 160°F for the eggs to be safe), about 20 to 25 minutes.
    I switch to a wooden spoon for this step, so I can constantly scrape the bottom of the pot while stirring so that the egg mixture doesn't scorch.
    Please don't try to speed up this process by turning up the heat. Don't let the mixture come to a boil (in fact, it shouldn't even simmer). and don't walk away/stop stirring. The end result will be something that resembles scrambled eggs, which you won't be able to use.
  • Immediately strain the egg mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl (this will remove any small bits of cooked egg; the mixture needs to be very smooth).
  • Stir in the remaining 2 cups of cold milk, the vanilla extract, rum extract, and nutmeg.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 4 hours (I like to let it sit overnight; I think it tastes better).
  • Place the heavy whipping cream in a bowl and whip to soft peaks (you can do this with an electric mixer or by hand with a whisk).
    You have reached soft peaks when you pull the beaters out of the cream and peaks form but they quickly fold over on themselves or lose their shape.
  • Add the whipped cream to the egg mixture; stir gently with a whisk until combined.
  • Serve cold; garnish each serving with a sprinkle of nutmeg.
  • If not serving immediately, keep the eggnog covered in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve. The cream will often separate and settle on the top, so be sure to give it a gentle whisk to recombine before serving.

Recipe Notes

  • If you don't have or don't want to use maple syrup, use ¾ cup of regular white sugar instead. You can add more or less of either to adjust the level of sweetness to what you prefer.
  • The rum extract is optional, but I highly recommend it. The eggnog is very good without it, but it's so much more delicious with it. You get a hint of that rum flavor that eggnog is known for without having to add any alcohol. You can add more or less to taste.
  • I prefer to use freshly grated nutmeg because I think it has so much more flavor than ground nutmeg from the jar (but you can use either).
  • Store in the refrigerator, covered, for 2 to 4 days. 
  • If you'd like to add alcohol such as rum, whiskey, bourbon, brandy, or amaretto (my favorite), omit the rum extract and stir in the desired amount after the eggnog has chilled and right before adding the whipped cream. I suggest starting with a small amount at first and adding more, a little at a time, until you get it to where you want. 
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