Making a healthier version of this holiday classic that still tastes unbelievably luscious all comes down to choosing the right ingredients (see Tips).
Tips: Choosing low-fat (1%) milk over whole cuts back on calories and reduces the amount of saturated fat by 2 grams for each serving.
Freshly grating whole nutmeg with a zester—instead of using the preground stuff—unleashes the volatile oils found within the seed for a more assertive, complex flavor.
Look for pure vanilla extract, which must be made from vanilla beans. The pretenders (labeled "imitation vanilla," "artificially flavored" or just "vanilla flavoring"), which get their flavor from synthetic vanillin, have a weaker vanilla flavor and can taste harsh and bitter.
To make ahead: Refrigerate the base (Steps 1-3) for up to 2 days.