Pumpkin spice everything

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This time of year food based social media is dominated by Autumnal bounty of the Northern hemisphere and there are regular comments of “Pumpkin spice” in many many forms.

The thing is, outside of the North American continent, this is an unknown mix, or at least an unknown name for an existing mix of exotic ingredients. So to read about this regularly is like getting the traffic report for a distant foreign city in a country you have never visited – mildly interesting but makes no real sense as you have no idea what they mean.

So I did the research, trawled the internet, read through a wide selection of US and Canadian cookbooks and asked a few people, and narrowed the flavours down.

Must haves” that aren’t

What I found were most recipes agreed on three ingredients, namely Cinnamon, Ginger and Allspice. but in wildly different quantities. After that it was a free-for-all as to what else was in this mix.

On one recipe a “must have” would be listed on another as “not to be used“. Some insisted on having Pumpkin in the recipe, others omitted it. The same for Sugar, Maple Syrup, Salt, Black Pepper, Juniper, Cumin, Chilli or Vanilla, to name a few. The list was soon getting ridiculous.

AND don’t start me on how much of each, or whether it was by ounce, cup, gram, bushel, bucket or handful!

But wait thats…

Then when I looked at these recipes, I soon realised that they were similar combinations adjusted each time, or copied and amended as each cook chose to make their mark, or mixed up what was available with what they liked, to add extra flavour to the glut of the orange ground fruit.

Many of the Pumpkin spice recipes are similar to old European recipes for things like Easter Bun Spice, Christmas Mince Pie spice and a few other mixes that are stars in their own right in Middle Eastern or Asian desserts.

Which on reflection is quite easily explained; Colonists and settlers to the “New World” would have limited availability to certain ingredients and use what they have to hand. Mix what they knew with substitutes, omissions and preferences that would further shape the ingredients and flavours.

So when it came to choosing and mixing for the test recipes, I went through as best I could, even having a spreadsheet of all the spices I found, and then the percentage by weight of each spice in that recipe. It then became a combination of trial and error to get something I and my family liked as that was all that seemed to matter.

Not one, but two

This led to two simple recipes that could be thrown together in less time than it would take to read this post. I therefore give you recipe 1 and recipe 2. These are in teaspoons or tablespoons, but you can easily convert to grams, buckets or handfuls as the spices appear to weigh more or less the same amount at this scale.

Note – there is no Pumpkin in either of these recipes, as this will prolong the shelf life of the spice. I would suggest to add freshly cooked pumpkin at about 1 part spice to 20, or 1 teaspoon to 100g vegetable. This also allows this mix to then be used in some other great dishes when you don’t want pumpkin in there.

Recipe 1 – “Pumpkin Spice”

  • 2 level Teaspoons Ground Dutch Cinnamon
  • 2 level Teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • ¼ level Teaspoon Ground Allspice
  • ¼ level Teaspoon Ground Mace

Recipe 2 – “Pumpkin Spice”

  • 3 level Tablespoons Ground Dutch Cinnamon
  • 3 level Tablespoons Ground Ginger
  • 2 level Teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
  • 1½ level Teaspoons Ground Allspice
  • 1½ level Teaspoons Ground Cloves

Method – for either recipe

  • Measure each ingredient carefully and place in a bowl
  • Mix well
  • Store in a clean glass jar, with a tight fitting lid, out of bright light, and use as your subsequent recipe requires.

No Pumpkins were harmed in the making of this recipe

Published by VinceHomeMade

With a decade of experience in the commercial kitchens of London and more than three times that cooking with my family, I am now going to share what I have learned along the way. Whether it's a recipe for shortcrust pastry; a pro-tip on buying or using chef's knives; a review of a new ingredient or a new take on an old one. It will be all here as I start this blog journey, in text, pictures and video links to my Instagram and YouTube page. If you would like to help me on this journey perhaps you would click on the link to "Buy me a coffee"

5 thoughts on “Pumpkin spice everything

  1. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen – I'm a writer, cook, gardener, poet, quilter. I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, no particular order on any given day. Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. After many years of daily serving up of our local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, cooking classes, etc. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible people have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always. I've been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, and magazine contributor, but now turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column "Memorable Meals," which runs in our county newspaper. I write poetry as the spirit wills, and the occasional short story. My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there has to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat meat or dairy (usually), I do eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful, but have been know to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!). I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me as well as the youngers in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to read. I enjoy taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a littler healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods! And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It's a wonderful, world full of culinary penpals! XXXOOO
    Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen says:

    I’m a big fan of creating ones own spice mixes according to what we like! These two mixes sound really good. It reminds me that my mom always used mace in her pumpkin pie.

    1. VinceHomeMade – With a decade of experience in the commercial kitchens of London and more than three times that cooking with my family, I am now going to share what I have learned along the way. Whether it's a recipe for shortcrust pastry; a pro-tip on buying or using chef's knives; a review of a new ingredient or a new take on an old one. It will be all here as I start this blog journey, in text, pictures and video links to my Instagram and YouTube page. If you would like to help me on this journey perhaps you would click on the link to "Buy me a coffee"
      VinceHomeMade says:

      Mace is great, along with a cinnamon quill or whole cloves mixed into the fruit, both tastes and looks great.

  2. I’m usually more into “this and that” type of spice additions, but it’s good to have a more measured recipe. Glad no pumpkins were harmed – at least for now… 🙂

    1. VinceHomeMade – With a decade of experience in the commercial kitchens of London and more than three times that cooking with my family, I am now going to share what I have learned along the way. Whether it's a recipe for shortcrust pastry; a pro-tip on buying or using chef's knives; a review of a new ingredient or a new take on an old one. It will be all here as I start this blog journey, in text, pictures and video links to my Instagram and YouTube page. If you would like to help me on this journey perhaps you would click on the link to "Buy me a coffee"
      VinceHomeMade says:

      Its great to have on hand too for when you want to sprinkle a little on top of or in something. Love it on a rice pudding