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Harvest Eggnog

6 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup, plus 2 Tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup brandy or dark rum
1 tsp. vanilla extract 
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg, 
1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks 

In a large saucepan, not using heat, whisk eggs, yolks, sugar, and salt. Stir in milk, a 1/2 cup at a time, blending well after each addition.

Heat slowly over slowest possible setting, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 160 degrees, or until it thickens, and coats the back of a spoon, 25 to 30 minutes.

Pour custard through strainer into a large bowl; stir in liquor, vanilla, and grated nutmeg. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours and up to 3 days.

Just before serving, whip cream in medium bowl to very soft peaks and gently fold into custard mixture until incorporated. Serve in chilled punch bowl or cups, garnishing with optional grated nutmeg.

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