A Rich Vanilla Christmas Eggnog

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    2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons whole milk

    • 1 cup half-and-half
    • 1 (4-inch) piece vanilla bean, split lengthwise
    • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1 quart French vanilla ice cream, softened
    • Sweetened whipped cream (optional)
    • Freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

    Directions

    • Combine first three ingredients in a large saucepan; stir well. Cook over medium-low heat until thoroughly heated (do not boil).
    • Combine eggs and sugar in a medium bowl; stir with a wire whisk until well blended. Gradually stir about one-fourth of hot mixture into egg mixture; add to remaining hot mixture, stirring constantly.
    • Cook mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, 20 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened and reaches 160 degrees.
    • Remove mixture from heat; stir in one-quarter teaspoon nutmeg.
    • Let cool.
    • Cover and chill three hours. Remove and discard vanilla bean; stir in ice cream just before serving. If desired, top each serving with sweetened whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg.
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