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Having treats available for holiday entertaining is not only nice, it makes things run more smoothly when there's last minute guests or an impromptu stay for supper crowd around. I'm a fan of this custard for such occasions for two reasons. First, it's delightfully holiday-inspired and perfect for keeping gatherings festive. But, beyond that, the custard is easy to put together and adding mascarpone to the mix makes it an easy-set custard for crème brulee or a custard pie filling. For pie, simply pour the filling into a prepared pie plate and bake it as directed in the recipe below.
Having coffee, tea and cocoa available to enjoy with this creamy dessert is a great idea. There's nothing else you'll need to end your meal and gathering in style. Enjoy and happy holidays.
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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place 4 ramekins or custard cups into a shallow baking dish, and fill the dish with water to half-way up the sides of the ramekins.
Pour the eggnog into a pan over medium heat. Cook and stir occasionally until the mixture simmers, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the egg yolks and sugar into a mixing bowl; beat until light colored and frothy. Stir in the mascarpone until well blended and smooth. Whisk 1/4 cup of the heated eggnog mixture into the eggs. Gradually whisk the remaining eggnog into the eggs. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve to remove any egg strands. If desired, stir in the nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla. Pour into the prepared ramekins, dividing evenly.
Bake in the preheated oven until the custard has set, 30 to 45 minutes. The centers should wiggle slightly when shaken, but not be soupy.
Remove them from the oven and cool for 30 minutes; refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.