Start to finish: 2 hours 15 minutes (15 minutes active)
4 large eggs, yolks and whites separated
1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
Pinch sea salt
2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, divided
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Bourbon, to serve (optional)
In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks until they are a light golden color, about 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add the 1/4 cup of sugar and the salt, beating until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the milk and half of the nutmeg, then beat until slightly frothy.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks. With the mixer running, sprinkle in 1 tablespoon of the remaining sugar and whip until the egg whites form stiff peaks. Folk the egg whites into the yolk mixture until light and airy with no lumps. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Just before serving, place the cold cream in a large chilled bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until the cream forms soft peaks. With the mixer still running, gradually add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and the vanilla. Beat until firm peaks form and there is no liquid left. Fold the whipped cream into the eggnog, sprinkle with the remaining nutmeg, and serve.
If you are spiking the eggnog, pour or spoon into glasses and add bourbon to taste to the individual glasses.
Nutrition information per serving: 270 calories; 180 calories from fat (67 percent of total calories); 20 g fat (12 g saturated; 0.5 g trans fats); 185 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 14 g sugar; 8 g protein; 120 mg sodium.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Elizabeth Karmel is a grilling and Southern foods expert and executive chef at Hill Country Barbecue Market restaurants in New York and Washington, as well as Hill Country Chicken in New York. She is the author of three cookbooks, including "Soaked, Slathered and Seasoned."