Summer Cream de Menthe (no that isn’t a misspelling)

I had five leftover egg yolks from another recipe, and had no idea what to do with them, but no desire to waste them. I used the marvelous ingredient-based search engine on recipe site AllRecipes.com to look for likely candidates. Since my first attempt resulted in tons of recipes that called for cream, which I didn’t have in the house, I told it to exclude that on the next pass.

There were puddings, but we already had a dessert made for this week (the stunning, tastes-decadent-but-it-isn’t, Snowy Pudding—that pretty photo of pudding in a mug with raspberries on top is mine). Heck, that’s why I had the leftover yolks in the first place! I could make a custard, but same problem. I finally spotted something that was at least only sorta dessert—a drink, rather eggnog-like. There were just a few problems with it, however. Whoops, the sweetened condensed milk had expired (we don’t use it that often). I could tell straight off by looking at the recipe that it would be WAY too sweet for me. And it had a horridly large amount of rum—even the other reviews of the recipe complained that’s all they could taste. So, taking pretty much only the basic concept, I made my own recipe that I call:

Summer Cream de Menthe

This is a cooling summer version of eggnog. Or, it makes a nice hot-weather substitute for hot chocolate. Use a little mint flavor syrup instead of liqueur for a kid-friendly version. I kept this light for summer; for a richer version, add an extra egg yolk and use all half-and-half instead of hnh and milk.

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup Creme de Menthe liqueur

Add water and sugar to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Boil for three minutes. Measure out 1 cup of hot simple sugar syrup; save the rest to sweeten other drinks.

In a large bowl, beat egg yolks on high speed of electric mixer until thicker and a little lighter in color. Very gradually add the 1 cup hot sugar syrup while continuing to beat. Be careful not to go too quickly and scramble the yolks.

Slowly beat in the half-and-half and then the milk, followed by the liqueur. Chill and serve.

 

1/4 cup Creme de Menthe is sufficient for a nice mint flavor if your drinkers don’t really want to taste the alcohol. Amount can easily be adjusted to individual drinkers’ taste. While I chose mint as a nice cooling summer flavor, another liqueur could be substituted. I’m thinking of trying Kahlua next time, or perhaps a banana liqueur or butterscotch schnapps.

Another thought: leave the liqueur out of the basic recipe, and then people can mix-and-match their own drinks with whatever liqueur or flavor syrup they want, in whatever amount they want.

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