This traditional Puerto Rican eggnog is a favorite throughout the Caribbean. Canned coconut milk can be substituted, but processing freshly grated coconut with spice-infused water yields the richest flavor. This recipe comes from Ana Sofia Pelaez of the blog Hungry Sofia.
- 2 large whole, dried coconuts (about 3 1/2 lbs.)
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 whole star anise
- 1 tsp. anise seeds
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 (13.5-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk
- 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1⁄4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
- 1⁄8 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 1⁄2 cups dark rum
Heat oven to 400°. Using a corkscrew, open the three "eye" holes at the narrow end of each coconut; invert over a measuring cup fitted with a fine mesh strainer. Drain coconuts, reserving liquid; set aside. Bake coconuts 20 minutes; transfer to a cutting board, cover with a towel and tap sharply with a hammer until coconuts crack into large pieces. With a paring knife or large spoon, remove meat from shell; peel away brown papery husk and discard. Finely chop meat (you should have about 4 cups); set aside.
Combine reserved coconut liquid and enough water to equal 2 cups; add cinnamon stick, star anise, and anise seeds. Bring to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium and cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and steep 10 minutes. Strain and discard spices; set aside.
Combine liquid and half of coconut meat in a blender; mix on high speed until finely pureed and thickened, about 30 seconds. Pour through a cheesecloth-lined fine mesh sieve into a measuring cup; gather ends of cheesecloth, twisting tightly to extract liquid. Discard coconut solids and return strained liquid to blender with remaining coconut meat. Repeat blending and straining process (you should have 2-3 cups coconut milk); rinse blender and wipe dry.
Combine coconut milk, yolks, condensed milk, evaporated milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in blender; mix on high speed until frothy, 30-60 seconds. Whisk in rum and refrigerate until ready to use.