Blend up pumpkin pie spice to personal tastes

The savory side of pumpkin gave this week’s food section appeal beyond Halloween.

Pumpkin tacos, empanadas and a hummus-like dip were highlighted in this week’s story. I’ll likely add these to my repertoire of pumpkin soup, curry, pizza and risotto. For dessert, there’s always the pumpkin pie a la mode ice cream in my freezer.

Served as a sweet, pumpkin often lends its name to a classic mixture of warming spices that have transcended pie into all manner of seasonal specialties. In everything from muffins to lattes, from granola to yogurt, from candied nuts to popcorn, the flavor du jour is pumpkin pie spice.

And when a recipe calls for pumpkin pie spice, it’s worthwhile to concoct your own from whole, fresh spices, rather than reaching for that canister that’s likely seen several Thanksgivings in the spice cabinet.  A fresh supply of this spice mixture begs to be stirred into coffee, tea or even cocktails and sprinkled over many a meal, from buttered toast to creamy desserts.

If you don’t have a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, you still can blend pumpkin pie spice to your personal tastes using powdered spices. Love nutmeg? Ramp up the quantity. Ginger, not so much? Scale it back a bit. Here’s a recipe adapted by the Chicago Tribune from Betty Crocker.     

Tribune News Service photo

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

Into a small bowl, measure 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 tablespoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves. Mix well. Spoon into small jars and store in a dark place for a month or so.

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    Sarah Lemon

    Sarah Lemon covers the Rogue Valley’s food scene with an enthusiasm that rivals her love of cooking. Her blog mixes culinary musings and milestones with tips and recipes you won’t find in the Mail Tribune’s weekly A la Carte section. When ... Read Full
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