|Prescott trip Fall '10|
Speaking of pumpkins. Do you remember when 'pumpkin everything!' was not a thing? Sure, there was always pumpkin pie and maybe a novelty pumpkin spice latte here and there, but it was nothing like how it is now. I'm pretty sure the day Starbucks starts selling pumpkin drinks is the first day of fall in a lot of people's minds. And it's not just coffee- there's pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin soup, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin mac and cheese, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin butter, pumpkin liquor, pumpkin doughnuts- if you can think of it, someone (or some company) has put pumpkin in it. It's nuts. I always start off the season rolling my eyes and thinking, "really guys? It's just a squash. Chill the f out", but after a few weeks in I'm like, "you know, a pumpkin latte actually does sound pretty good right now". Pumpkins have some really persuasive advertisers.
I considered just grabbing one at Starbucks on the way to class, but their drinks are usually too dense and sweet for my liking. I also looked at the ingredients for the syrup they use and it turns out there's nothing in it resembling pumpkin or spice, just high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavorings. There were lots of recipes for homemade versions online though, so I decided to just quickly whip one up yesterday. Making simple syrups is seriously easy and only takes like 15-20 mins- and now I have a big jar full of sweet, spicy bronze syrup for less than it would have cost me to buy a single drink at a coffee shop.
Pumpkin Pie Syrup
makes about 2 cups
45 calories/1 tbsp serving
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups water
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (canned or homemade)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
10 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
All you have to do is combine everything in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook for 10-15 minutes until sugar is fully melted and syrup has reduced slightly. It will get even thicker as it cools.
I think this syrup would be good for lots of things, such as with pancakes, yogurt, oatmeal, ice cream, or mixed into a cocktail. The amount of sugar in it acts as a preservative so it should last (opened) for a couple weeks. I'm not positive but I'm pretty sure it could also be canned and stored for a few months.
Of course, I used it to make a pumpkin spice latte.
1 cup of original unsweetened almond milk, heated
1/2 cup strong coffee OR 1 shot of espresso
2 tbsp pumpkin pie syrup (I might use 1.5 next time, 2 was pretty sweet)
Happy Fall :)