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Eric Akis: Two recipes to make your own eggnog

For a modern version of the festive drink, temper the eggs — or replace them entirely, using oat milk and tofu instead.
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Rich homemade eggnog, left, and dairy-free nog, made with oat beverage and tofu. ERIC AKIS

‘Tis the season for sipping eggnog and food stores have it well stocked and ready for you to purchase. Or you can make it yourself. Here’s two recipes for you to try.

When reviewing some older, traditional eggnog recipes I found they combine such things as beaten, raw egg yolks and sugar with milk, cream, nutmeg and, if desired, alcohol, such as rum. Just before serving, beaten, raw eggs whites are folded in, helping to thicken the drink.

Updated recipes for eggnog, such as mine, are designed for those not wanting to consume raw eggs. To make it, beaten eggs are blended into a cooked, custard-like mixture that’s thinned out with cream, flavoured with spices and cooled. The eggnog is then refrigerated several hours, creating a rich, seasonal drink you can also spike with rum.

My second recipe blends oat beverage with soft tofu, maple syrup and spices, for those who can’t have dairy. It has the look and taste of eggnog and once chilled, can also be spiked with rum.

You’ll notice in both recipes a tiny amount of deep-yellow, ground turmeric is added to give the drink a richer colour.

Homemade Eggnog

Serve this eggnog when you want a festive, spiced, rich, creamy drink.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Makes: four or five (about one-cup) servings

3 large eggs

1/4 to 1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp cornstarch

1/4 tsp salt

3 cups 2 per cent or whole milk

1 (237 mL/1 cup) container whipping cream

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/8 tsp freshly grated or ground nutmeg, plus some for sprinkling

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

• tiny pinch ground cloves

• tiny pinch ground turmeric (optional)

• dark rum (optional)

• cinnamon sticks, for garnish (optional)

Place eggs in a mixing bowl and beat well. Beat in sugar, cornstarch and salt.

Place milk in a medium, heavy-bottomed pot (mine was eight-inches wide), set over medium heat and bring to just below a simmer, whisking occasionally so the milk does not scorch on the bottom.

Remove pot from the heat. Very, very slowly dribble and whisk half the hot milk into the egg mixture, to temper it. Whisk this mixture back into the pot with the remaining hot milk. Place the pot back over medium heat and cook, stirring often, until the mixture lightly thickens, is barely simmering (do not boil) and registers 165 F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the heat, and whisk in the whipping cream.

If the milk or milk/egg mixture did scorch a little on the bottom during heating, or you want super-smooth eggnog, strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Use a sturdy whisk, to whisk and push the eggnog mixture through the sieve.

Whisk the vanilla, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and turmeric, if using, into the eggnog, and cool to room temperature. Transfer eggnog to a glass serving jug or other vessel. Cover and refrigerate eggnog until well chilled, about three to four hours. The eggnog can be made a day or two in advance of serving.

Before serving, give eggnog a stir. Drink the eggnog as is or add a splash of rum to the glasses you serve it in. Sprinkle each serving with a bit of nutmeg, garnish with cinnamon sticks, if using, and enjoy.

Dairy-Free Nog

In this recipe, dairy items used in eggnog are replaced with oat beverage, sold at most food stores, and soft tofu. When blended with spices and other flavourings, they create a pleasing drink similar to eggnog.

Cooking time: None

Preparation time: five minutes

Makes: four (about one cup) servings

2 cups oat beverage

1 (300 gram) pkg. soft tofu

2 to 3 Tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/8 tsp freshly grated or ground nutmeg, plus some for sprinkling

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

• tiny pinch ground cloves

1/8 tsp ground turmeric

1/4 tsp salt

• dark rum (optional)

• cinnamon sticks, for garnish (optional)

Place oat beverage, tofu, syrup, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, turmeric and salt in a blender and pulse until smooth. Taste nog and adjust as needed, blending in more syrup, if desired. Transfer nog to a glass serving jug or other vessel. Cover and refrigerate until well-chilled, about three to four hours. The nog can be made a day or two in advance of serving.

Before serving, give nog a stir. Drink the nog as is or add a splash of rum to the glasses you serve it in. Sprinkle each serving with a bit of nutmeg, garnish with cinnamon sticks, if using, and enjoy.

eakis@timescolonist.com

Eric Akis is the author of eight cookbooks. His columns appear in the Life section Wednesday and Sunday.

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