The air is starting to smell of fall. Even though we are still wearing summer attire, it’s October. The “Anne of Green Gables” quote “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers” reflects my sentiments perfectly.
Even though fall has officially started, its been too hot to buy pumpkins for the porch. They’ll rot until these temps fall a bit. But we’ve officially been in Pumpkin Spice Latte season since the end of August, at least according to Starbucks. I don’t buy coffee out but maybe once a month. It’s too expensive and I honestly prefer the convenience and flavor of a cup made right in the comfort of my kitchen.
Several years back, I hosted a pumpkin cooking class, and we made these Pumpkin Lattes. This recipe actually has real pumpkin in it, along with pumpkin pie spice to give it that spicy holiday flavor, a bit of sugar to bring the sweetness of the spices together, vanilla because vanilla makes everything taste better, and a topping of whipped cream. My mouth is watering as I write this and sip my plain latte.
I remember a couple years back enjoying a Pumpkin Latte at Reverie, and it had real pumpkin in it, too. This year, their version is Pumpkin Spice Maple Latte, which sounds divine. Maple has such a rich flavor compared to sugar, honey, agave and other sweeteners. I haven’t given it a try yet, but according to their Facebook page, it’s their best pumpkin latte yet.
Back to the at-home version: This recipe is very simple to make and can easily be made in a batch if you’d like. When you heat the pumpkin, spices and sugar over the heat, the warm aromatics open up, releasing a fragrant scent. Then adding the milk to that mixture essentially makes a homemade flavored coffee creamer. If you’re making a large batch, you can store it in the fridge for ease when you want one. Otherwise, make espresso shots for each mug, divide the creamer mixture and top with whipped cream and a dash or two of pumpkin pie spice. If you don’t have an espresso machine, there are some pretty decent instant espressos you can purchase. Here’s to pumpkin season.
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
1⁄2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more to garnish
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups whole milk
1 – 2 shots espresso, about 1⁄4 cup
1⁄4 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped until firm peaks form
In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the pumpkin with pumpkin pie spices for 2 minutes stirring constantly, until it’s hot and smells cooked. Add the sugar and stir until the mixture looks like a thick syrup.
Add the milk and vanilla extract and warm gently over medium heat to make sure it doesn’t boil over or burn. Carefully process the milk mixture in a blender until frothy and blended.
Make espresso or coffee and divide between two mugs and add frothed milk. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, if desired.