Homemade Dairy-Free Eggnog
(Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-Free)
1/3 cup maple syrup (or more to taste)
4 large egg yolks
2 whole cloves
Pinch of cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg plus more for garnish
Splash more of coconut milk if desired, just before serving
Optional: 2-4 tablespoons Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum or mix of rum and brandy. Though they are naturally gluten-free, it is always best to check with the manufacturer to be sure that they are truly safe.
Optional: Many traditional recipes call for beating the egg whites till soft peaks form and folding them into the eggnog. I usually skip this practice myself but it might be worth a try. Due to the risk of salmonella from the raw egg whites it is best to use eggs from a source that you trust. This method is not recommended for children, elderly or those with compromised immune systems.
In a double boiler or heavy bottom sauce pan, combine the coconut milk, maple syrup, cloves and cinnamon. Over medium heat, allow the mixture to become warm and "steamy", but don't allow it to boil or simmer. Remove from heat when it is just "steamy".
Beat the egg yolks till thick and pale.
Slowly pour about half of the milk mixture into the beaten egg yolks, whisking continuously the whole time. This is called tempering the eggs. If you were to just combine everything at once it would likely curdle and or scramble the egg. A slow pour and constant whisking is very important here. Don't be intimidated by these steps, but don't skip them either.
Now add the tempered egg mixture back into the leftover milk. Return it to a medium heat (possibly medium-low if not using a double boiler), stirring constantly and never letting it come to a boil. If it boils it will curdle. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a temperature of 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. It should thicken some. As long as at it's not curdling you can keep cooking the eggnog a little longer at 160 degrees till it thickens more.
Remove the cloves and let the eggnog cool down. Once cooled some, mix in the vanilla extract, nutmeg and the rum/brandy (optional). You can also add a splash more of coconut milk to taste) Chill well. Serve with a little sprinkle of nutmeg on the top.
If the mixture does curdle, don't worry. Pour your eggnog into a blender or food processor and give it a whirl. It will smooth out in no time and no one will will be the wiser!