Eggnog used to be one of my favorite holiday guilty pleasures. It had to be the kind in the carton (non-alcoholic) with the artificial rum extract. I just loved that stuff and looked forward to having it with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner every year. Of course, it was packed with sugar and who knows what else, so I had to give it up when I went sugar free, and I hadn’t had a sip for years … until I got a wicked craving for it a few weeks ago and decided to try making it from scratch.
I wasn’t sure what to expect (I think I say this about most of the recipes I post here) since I was trying to replicate something that is mass produced and comes in a carton, but I was going for that flavor and texture because it’s what I remember, and I have many happy holiday memories associated with a little juice glass full of rich, creamy nog.
This was one of those recipes that I figured would probably take a few tries to get right (or even close), and I thought that the flavor of coconut milk and almond milk would work well with the rum and nutmeg elements, so I made this recipe dairy free. I used Alton Brown’s eggnog recipe, the cooked version, as a jumping off point, and the result (first try!) was actually incredibly close to the eggnog that I remember. So, I’m a happy camper. I think that I may try making ice cream with this, too. Ooh, that might be very, very good.
inspired by Alton Brown’s Eggnog
Notes: The xanthan gum called for in the recipe is optional, but I’ve found that adding it gives the eggnog a creamier mouth feel. I also chill the can of coconut milk the day before I plan on making the recipe and only use the solidified milk that rises to the top of the can after it’s completely chilled. Just spoon out the solidified portion (about 1 cup) and leave the watery liquid at the bottom of the can. I’m not sure, but I do think that this helps make the eggnog creamier. If you’d like to use sugar instead of the sweeteners that I use, replace the xylitol and liquid stevia with 1/3 cup sugar.
4 egg yolks
3 Tbsp. xylitol
1/4 tsp. liquid stevia
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 can (14.5 oz.) full fat coconut milk, chilled (see note above)
2 1/2 tsp. rum extract
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. xanthan gum (see note above)
* The brand of rum extract that I used (McCormick) does contain corn syrup, but it’s in such small quantities that it didn’t affect my blood sugar at all.
1. In a small bowl, combine the xanthan gum and xylitol. Add the egg yolks to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on high until they turn a lighter shade of yellow. Gradually add the xanthan gum and xylitol mixture and continue to beat until the xylitol is completely dissolved. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, over high heat, combine the almond milk, coconut milk, stevia, and nutmeg and bring just to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and gradually add the hot liquid to the egg mixture (temper), whisking constantly as you go so the egg yolks don’t curdle.
3. Return everything to the saucepan and cook until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from the heat, stir in the rum and vanilla extracts, pour into an airtight container, and place in the refrigerator to chill.