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Friday Harbor Inn Drowning in Eggnog

From the Keyboard of Stephanie Prima-Sarantopulos: We ordered 2 quarts.  We received 2 cases!  There they were, stacked like soldiers in tidy rows on the bottom shelf of the reach-in refrigerator.  Whaddaya do with 24 bottles of eggnog?  Short of bathing in it, we had to figure out creative ways to use it up before the two-week expiration date.  We’re talking rich, full fat, very lightly homogenized, perfectly seasoned, old-fashioned eggnog in glass bottles; the kind you only need a tiny glass of to satisfy.

My husband couldn’t understand the dilemma.  He requested I bring home a bottle every few days; his evening cocktail had been adjusted for the season, of course with a healthy dab of added holiday spirits.  That took care of a few bottles.  Several businesses around town received gifts of eggnog and house-made cookies.   Eggnog appeared on the breakfast table each morning; reportedly some guests were even pouring it on their granola.  I made a couple batches of mini eggnog pound cakes to give as gifts or freeze for later use.  We tossed around ideas for eggnog cheese cake, eggnog pudding, eggnog French toast.  But surprisingly, long before we resorted to those concoctions, the Nog Regiment dwindled to a paltry three bottles.

I finally got the brilliant but belated idea to call the producer and ask about freezing.  Debbie at Twin Brooks Creamery said they’ve frozen it successfully, and the only time they could discern any quality difference was when they were comparing it side-by-side with fresh-made product.  She warned to be sure to remove some of the contents if freezing it in the bottle, or to leave lots of head room if it’s transferred to an alternative container, to allow for expansion.  Problem solved.  But, Eggnog French Toast on Christmas morning is sounding awfully good!

If you have a surplus of eggnog in your house and don’t want to freeze it, here is a recipe that was passed along to me from a friend.  I don’t know the original published source, but purportedly it was developed by the great baker Flo Braker. The batter is so good, my husband and I succumbed to our remembered childhood pleasures and licked the beaters and bowl clean.

Eggnog Pound Cake

Makes 20 Servings

For the Cake:

  • 1/2 cup dried currants, raisins or cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp dark rum or water
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup eggnog mixed with 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp grated orange zest

For the Glaze:

  • 3 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp dark rum
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

1. Soak currants in rum in a small bowl for 15 minutes.

2. Adjust rack to lower third of oven. Preheat the oven to 325°F (350°F if the pan doesn’t have a dark finish). Butter a 9 to 10 inch Bundt pan.

3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter until creamy, 30-45 seconds. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape bowl with a rubber spatula occasionally as needed. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.

5. At very low speed, add dry ingredients in 4 additions, alternating with eggnog (begin and end with dry ingredients). Scrape bowl occasionally. Gently fold in orange zest, currants and any remaining rum.

6. Spoon batter into pan; spread evenly. Bake 55-65 minutes, or until cake springs back when touched lightly in the center and pulls away from the sides of the pan. You can also use a long toothpick or thin bamboo skewer and insert into the thickest part of the cake. If it comes out clean, it’s done.

7. Remove from oven and cool upright in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes.

8. Prepare glaze by blending together sugar, orange juice, and rum.

9. Invert cake onto a rack, over a sheet of waxed paper. Use a pastry brush to brush the surface of the cake with the glaze. Cool completely before serving.

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