Cardamom-Spiced Eggnog & Pistachio Cream Recipe

Serve this drink in Champagne flutes as a dessert, or in cups for more casual entertaining.

4 tsp unflavoured gelatin
4 cups store-bought eggnog
1 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp icing sugar

Pistachio Layer
1/2 cup shelled pistachio nuts
1 cup whipping cream
10-12 drops (approx.) green food colouring
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp almond extract

Spiced Eggnog Layer
2 tbsp orange liqueur (such as Cointreau)
1/2 tsp grated orange rind
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp each nutmeg and ground cardamom
Pinch cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped shelled pistachio nuts for garnish (optional)
Fresh pomegranate seeds or red or white currants for garnish (optional)


Step 1: In a medium saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over 1 cup eggnog. Let stand 1 minute to soften. Cook for 2 minutes over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is hot and gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining eggnog.

Step 2: Divide eggnog mixture in half, using two bowls (about 2 cups mixture per bowl). In a separate bowl, whip cream with icing sugar until stiff. Chill until needed.

Step 3: For pistachio layer, place 1/2 cup pistachios in a baggie and, using a mallet or hammer, coarsely crush. In a small saucepan, heat whipping cream with crushed pistachios until boiling. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes until reduced by half.

Step 4: Pour cream through sieve into a small bowl, pressing down on nuts to extract as much flavour as possible. Discard nuts. Whisk pistachio cream, food colouring and vanilla and almond extracts into one bowl of eggnog mixture. Set aside.

Step 5: For spiced eggnog layer, whisk orange brandy, orange rind, vanilla, nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon into second bowl of eggnog mixture.

Step 6: Refrigerate both bowls for about 2 hours or until mixtures are thickened but not set. Gently whisk one half of whipped cream into pistachio mixture and other half into plain eggnog mixture.

Step 7: Ladle equal amounts of pistachio mixture (about 1/3 cup each) into each of 8 tall, slim glasses. Chill 1-2 hours, until almost set. Top pistachio layers with equal amounts eggnog mixture. Chill for several hours or until set, or up to 2 days.

Step 8: Just before serving, sprinkle with chopped pistachio nuts, pomegranate seeds or currants, if desired.

Angus Fergusson