Total cook & prep: 20 min
Yield: 6 servings
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 2 large strips orange and/or lemon zest
- 1 vanilla bean or 1tbps pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- White rum or bourbon (optional)
- Freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon stick, for garnish
Combine 1 1/2 cups milk and the citrus zest in a medium saucepan. Add the vanilla seeds (if using a pod) or pure vanilla extract to the saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, egg yolk, sugar, and cornstarch in a medium bowl until light yellow.
Very slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture (not too fast or it will cook the egg!), whisking constantly, then pour back into the pan. Place over medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon in a figure-eight motion until the eggnog begins to thicken, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the remaining 1/2 cup milk to stop the cooking. Transfer the eggnog to a large bowl and place over a larger bowl of ice to cool, then chill until ready to serve.
Remove the zest and vanilla pod (if using a pod). Spike the eggnog with liquor, if desired, and garnish with nutmeg and a cinnamon stick.