Every time I visit my friend, Elżbieta, I learn a new dish. During my last visit, we put a very thick Ajerkoniak (sounds like ayer-cognac and translates to eggnog) on our desserts.
This thick version of the liqueur was so rich and yummy – different from anything else I can think of. The closest thing I could name would be the brandy butter than my mom puts on plum pudding at Christmas. I had to try making this at home. I can imagine putting this on all kind of baked goods or ice cream.
Now that I’ve done all that gushing, I have to tell you that this recipe makes me, as an American cook, a little nervous. It has egg yolk and milk, and the finished product is not to be refrigerated. That’s what Elżbieta told me, and when Ed mentioned to two guys as the base that I was going to make this, they both said, “whatever you do, don’t put it in the refrigerator. It will turn into a brick.” Since the mixture is cooked, and the spirits added are so high in alcohol, I’m going to trust the advise of experienced Polish cooks, and keep this in sterile jars in the cupboard. I’ll let you decide for yourself.
A boozy sauce, perfect over a simple cake or ice cream
- 8 egg yolks
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 can of evaporated milk (about 1 1/3 cups)
- 3/4 cups spirytus (grain alcohol, 95% or 190 proof)
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Combine yolks and sugar in a bowl.
- Heat milk until just about to boil.
- Add 2 tablespoons hot milk to egg mixture while whisking. Continue adding very small amounts of hot milk to egg mixture until all milk is incorporated.
- Sit the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches 70 C or 160 F.
- Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Place plastic wrap directly on top of the egg mixture, and allow it to cool to room temp.
- Stir in remaining ingredients.
- Store in clean jars until ready to use.
I was a worried that my Ajerkoniak would be too thin after I added the booze, but it magically jelled giving me the thick creamy sauce I was after.