6 cups whole or lowfat milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
8 large egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons Cognac (optional)
2/3 cup chilled whipping cream
Freshly grated (or ground) nutmeg, to taste
Place milk in heavy large saucepan.
Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean;
add bean. Bring to simmer. Remove from heat.
Cover; steep 15 minutes. Discard vanilla bean.
Whisk yolks and sugar in large bowl to blend.
Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture. Return
mixture to saucepan. Using rubber spatula, stir
mixture over low heat until bubbles subside and
mixture thickens slightly (do not boil), about 12
minutes. Cool. Cover and refrigerate until cold.
(At this point, eggnog can be made 1 day ahead.
Mix Cognac (if using) into eggnog mixture.
Using electric mixer, beat whipping cream in
large bowl until firm peaks form. Fold whipped
cream into eggnog mixture just until blended.
(At this point, eggnog can be made 8 hours
ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Ladle eggnog into glasses.
Sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg
(or ground nutmeg) and serve. Makes 8 servings.