This week’s obsession: Eggnog Tart
Are you one of the many people who shudder (or gag) at the word "eggnog"? I’m not, but I know a fair few who do. It is a pretty revolting name if you ask me. Since I grew up flat out refusing to eat eggs because I thought they were gross (seriously, sometimes the word “eggs” is still enough to make my stomach turn. But I’m working on it.), eggnog always sounded like a nightmare drink when I was a kid. (I can hear Juliet now, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Yeah you’re right, Jules, but at this point I think I’d prefer another name. How about pie punch? That’s basically what it is anyway ::shrug::) It’s true!! Eggnog is basically a custard base, which is why it’s kind of confusing that we drink it, but also why this tart had so few ingredients... but I’ll get to that later.
So where did this unfortunate name come from? The etymology is largely debated, but I wanted to share this one theory because it makes me laugh: “Frederick Douglass Opie wrote that the term is a combination of two colonial slang words — rum was referred to as grog and bartenders served it in small wooden mugs called noggins. The drink first became known as egg-n-grog and later as eggnog.” Can you imagine colonists sitting around at their local bars drinking so much egg-n-grog that they can’t even pronounce it anymore so it just slurs into “eggggggggnnnnnog”, and now here we are centuries later still drinking it and calling it the drunk form of its name and cringing all at the same time?!? Isn’t that hilarious??? No? Drink some more eggnog, it’ll get funnier.
Anyway, this tart was so simple because the eggs and spices were already blended into the milk for me - all I had to do was add sugar and cornstarch! So yes, to answer the question that everyone asks, there are raw eggs in eggnog. Now in order to sell it commercially, the eggs have to be pasteurized to kill off fun bacteria like salmonella. So if you shy away from eggnog because of the raw egg factor, you are completely safe buying it in stores. Now, if you have an ambitious friend who serves it to you homemade… you might want to have a chat about how it was prepared, because not all recipes require cooking. Personally, I would never risk it because I’m very diligent about using methods that prevent illness, but your friend may have a different opinion. So just ask before you drink it!
Switching gears here - do you remember the moose story from last week? (No? I told you to remember it! Go back and read it before you go any further!) Ok now that you’re back, I have a fun eggnog story that relates to the moose story. Or more that relates to the dog who ran confidently over to the moose before slowing down at the realization that there was immediate danger and this was such a bad plan!! Because I, too, decided to take on a moose (of sorts). This moose was called the Eggnog Slog™ and was a fun social running party of Christmas flavored horrors.
If you’ve ever run a beer mile, you’ll totally get this concept but if you haven’t, let me explain. For the Eggnog Slog™, we each agreed to run one full mile. But the catch is that before each quarter mile, we each had to drink (chug) 8 oz. of eggnog. Which most of you should know, is not a chuggable drink. FYI, we opted for the non-alcoholic version for this inaugural race.
So we gathered together at a park on the beachfront one warm December morning to willingly consume 32 oz. of eggnog in the heat, while running a bit in between drinks. (Did I mention that there was a penalty for puking? Yeah, if you threw up before you finished your mile, you had to run another quarter mile - but no extra drinking, thank goodness!!)
It was all high spirits and goodwill until the timer started. Then the eggnog chugging commenced and we were on our way! As I took off practically sprinting with all of these amazing, competitive runners (no joke, these people belong to a club where they get together to run. For. Fun. They also do insane things like willingly sign up for marathons #WTF), it occurred to me that I was exactly like the enthusiastic dog sprinting directly towards that massive moose and that it was a BAD BAD decision!! I rapidly realized that I was getting myself into some serious trouble (i.e. the kind where I was gonna pass out soon, or maybe even keel over and die). So I decided to be just like that cute pup and turn around and run back to safety (and in this case safety = no longer running while trying to contain half a gallon of eggnog).
Also I don’t know why I was thinking that I could keep up with these serious runners. I honestly didn’t realize that I wouldn’t be just sort of jogging, but actually sprinting (which I am in no shape to do for the record). So I stopped after that first round and decided to just enjoy watching the run.
And the misery. OMG the misery. I only chugged 8oz. of the stuff and I was pretty uncomfortable, but by the end they had all consumed 32oz. (that’s half a gallon!! Who does that?!) of eggnog. They were all lying on the ground after their run, moaning about how full they were. But the real let down though was that no one threw up. Not one! So all in all, the whole thing was done in less than 10 minutes, because as I mentioned earlier, this is what these people do for fun so they're ridiculously fast. But we had fun and got to enjoy some eggnog and quality time in the warm December weather.
The kicker was that I had already scheduled an eggnog dessert for my blog this week and I was pretty apprehensive about featuring it here because I figured that everyone who ran/chugged would be utterly repulsed. So I’m gingerly going to present this lovely little tart that was super easy to make because eggnog contains most of the ingredients that are needed for baking. All I did was cook together the eggnog and sugar, along with some cornstarch to thicken it before I poured it into the Oreo cookie tart crust I made earlier and baked it! Easy peasy.
To bring things up to the next level, I also made a delicious rum spiked whipped cream using some local Hawaiian dark rum and spiced rum. Shout out to Koloa Rum for this local deliciousness! (I usually make a little welcome basket for our visitors the first time they come to the island, and they always seem to appreciate the rum more than the reef safe sunscreen. Weird.) And I doubled the amount of rum needed so that you could really taste the rum with the eggnog. To make this little tart all fancy, I piped some whipped cream around the perimeter of the tart, placed mini Oreos on the fluffs of whipped cream to make a pretty border, piped rosette mounds around the top edges of the tart, added a few more mini Oreos, and dusted the whole border with some ground nutmeg.
Now I’m off to finish two other cakes due within the next 24 hours. I don’t know what it is but the second I injured my wrist, people started coming out of the woodwork with cake orders. Guess I gotta work double time!
Happy eating, y’all!