Eggnog pudding question
I am supposed to bring dessert to a party tonight, and I've been feeling kind of ho-hum about all my recipes, until I spied the eggnog in my fridge and had an idea for a trifle that includes gingerbread as the cake layer, and eggnog pudding as the creamy layer. The problem is that I am not quite sure how to go about making the eggnog pudding. My thought was to replace 1 cup (1/2 of the total amount) of the milk that goes in the pudding mix with eggnog. I would very much like to use real (alcoholic!!!) eggnog, but I was wondering if the alcohol would create a problem with the pudding setting up? I really want this to work because I think it would taste phenomenal- and trifles always look so pretty and festive on the food table at parties! Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
You can use a portion of the nog, half the amount of milk you mentioned,or all nog, in a basic pastry cream recipe, but cut back on the sugar if you use all nog, like down to none. The alcohol in the eggnog will not be a problem at all, much of it will cook off, just leaving the essential flavor, and won't prevent the pudding from setting up. Here's a recipe I had in my files:
Makes 2-1/2 cups.
1 C eggnog (not fat-free)
1 C whole milk
4 large egg yolks
1/3 C granulated sugar
1/4 C all purpose flour
1/4 C cornstarch
1/4 t grated nutmeg
1/4 t table salt
1 T vanilla, yes 1 tablespoon
When first tried this recipe, it seemed like there was more flour/cornstarch than I normally use for pastry cream, but it works out well. If it's too thick for your taste, when chilled, thin it with more eggnog and whatever alcohol you're using.
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, bring eggnog and milk to a simmer. Meanwhile, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, flour, cornstarch, nutmeg, salt and vanilla in a bowl.
Slowly whisk about a third of the heated eggnog mixture into the egg yolk mixture, then whisk this back into the eggnog mixture. Return the pan to a medium-low heat, bring it to a low boil, and cook, whisking constantly, for about 4 to 6 minutes, until very thick. (Do not overcook or the eggs will scramble.)
Strain the pastry cream through a fine sieve into a bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap on the surface. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours. It can be made and refrigerated up to 3 days in advance. If you need it for this evening, make it now, it does take some time to chill down. Alternatively, you can chill it in a bowl set in ice water, while whisking; that works pretty well and quickly. Then pop in into the frig.
I definitely like the gingerbread/eggnog idea. A little orange zest in the pastry cream would be a nice touch.