Happy Halloween everyone!
I know that you would expect many things from a cooking post on this day of ghosts and goblins. Perhaps you were thinking it would make sense to have a candy recipe or a post about what we’re wearing tonight (my girls are going to be Gretel from The Sound of Music and a devil), and it probably would, but I decided to offer both a trick and a treat today! The trick is that I’m making something completely unrelated to Halloween and the treat is that it is not only really delicious but also surprisingly easy to make.
A few days ago So Delicious sent me a couple of limited edition beverages to try, and they did not disappoint. I want to be very clear that I do not receive any compensation from this brand, they are not a sponsor, and I only tasted these out of the goodness of my heart. I would not post on these drinks if I didn’t feel that they were worth trying. Be on the lookout for their new egg-free eggnog and yummy chocolate mint cocktail. Both are, well, so delicious and they should be in stores sometime this week. However, not one to be confined by convention, I decided to see how I could make these products work beyond a frosty glass. Sure, I love a tall glass of eggnog as much as the next gal, but I wanted to find out what these drinks could really do. So, I set to work in my kitchen lab to see what I could come up with.
With Thanksgiving on the horizon, I am testing recipes like crazy, and I’ve been planning the menu for weeks, but I knew that I could fit the rich, creamy, nutmeg-y eggnog into our menu somewhere. Though eggnog is typically reserved for Christmas, after tasting it, I thought that this particular eggnog might pair nicely with either the vegan pumpkin pie from Allergy-Free Desserts or the pumpkin squares that I created last Thanksgiving. At first, the nutmeg in the drink reminded me so much of the custard that my mother used to make for us as children (she always dusted it with a generous sprinkle of nutmeg), but I don’t have room for pudding for 25 in my refrigerator. So, I decided to make it into ice cream. Now, I realize that So Delicious may already have beaten me to it; they did not mention if this will also be a limited edition ice cream flavor this year, but I find that there is something really special about homemade ice cream. It’s not particularly difficult to make, but it never fails to wow a crowd, and I find that a bunch of people sitting around the table eating something a la mode seems almost more Norman Rockwell than the real thing. Let me tell you: this ice cream does not disappoint on any level. It is creamy. It is rich. The flavor perfectly compliments a spicy slice of pumpkin pie.
Though it is, I suppose, a bit strange that I chose to make ice cream on an October day with a winter storm warning flashing across every TV channel, the combination of the scent of the eggnog and a fire in the fire place really put me in the holiday frame of mind. Halloween is today, but I saw Christmas trees for sale last week, and I have 25 people coming to my house for turkey in three weeks. I have a lot of shopping and cooking to do between now and then, but at least I can check one thing off my list. The best part is that I can make this now, freeze it, and have one less thing to worry about when the company arrives. That is, of course, if I don’t eat it all before tonight.
Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Nut and Egg-Free Eggnog Ice Cream
3 cups cold So Delicious Vegan Coconut Milk “Egg” Nog, divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Gluten-free ice cream cones or pie for serving (optional)
Makes 4 1/2-cup servings
1) Place 2 3/4 cups eggnog in a large saucepan and heat to a boil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup eggnog and the cornstarch until they are smooth. When the eggnog begins to boil, whisk in the cornstarch mixture and, stirring constantly, continue to boil the eggnog for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
2) Pour the custard mixture into a heat proof bowl and place it in the refrigerator to cool completely.
3) Freeze the custard in an ice cream machine according to machine directions. Serve immediately on cones or with pie or freeze for up to 3 months.