Additional whipped cream and ground nutmeg, optional
In a large heavy saucepan, whisk together the eggs, sugar and salt. Gradually add 2 cups milk. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until a thermometer reads 160°, about 25 minutes.
Pour into a large bowl; stir in the vanilla, nutmeg and remaining milk. Place the bowl in an ice-water bath; stir frequently until mixture is cool. If mixture separates, process in a blender until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
When ready to serve, in a small bowl, beat cream on high speed until soft peaks form; whisk gently into cooled mixture. Pour into a chilled punch bowl. If desired, top with dollops of whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg.
Spiked Holiday Eggnog: Reduce milk to 3-1/4 cups. Heat 2 cups milk with eggs, sugar and salt. Add 1-1/4 cups milk with vanilla and nutmeg. After mixture has cooled in ice bath, stir in 3/4 cup rum, brandy or bourbon. Proceed as recipe directs.