What's the cure for a chilly Fall afternoon? A pumpkin spice latte. I decided to make some today because the girls have the week off from school and they really wanted to cook. They wanted to make a pumpkin pie, but I thought it would be fun to take our pumpkin pie recipe and turn it into a drink.
I've had pumpkin spice lattes in the past that really only have nutmeg and cinnamon. I made ours with real pumpkin purée, and I sweetened the latte with condensed milk, as I do for cà phê sữa nóng (Vietnamese-style coffee).
It was such a hit. I served the latte in tall glasses, and as quickly as I poured it, the girls drank it. Sunny actually took to drinking it directly from the saucepan!
There's definitely going to be a big pot of pumpkin spice latte on the table for Thanksgiving. If you try it, I bet it'll be on your table as well.
Servings: 6 servings
1 quart whole milk
1/2 cup espresso coffee
1/3 cup condensed milk
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or almond extract)
1/2 cup pumpkin purée
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder, + extra for dusting
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1 clove, finely ground
For the pumpkin spice mix: In a bowl, combine the cinnamon powder, ground ginger, nutmeg and clove.
For the coffee: Brew your espresso coffee.
For the cappuccino frothing: Add vanilla extract to 1-1/2 cups of milk if you like. Froth the milk. If you don't own a cappuccino maker or frothing attachment to your espresso maker, check out the tip section .
For the pumpkin spice milk: In another non-stick saucepan, combine the remaining milk, pumpkin purée, condensed milk and the pumpkin spice mix. Warm the dairy mixture over medium-low heat. Do not bring to a boil. Once it's hot, add the coffee. Stir well.
Assembly time: Pour into 6 cups (I used clear glasses for the picture). Make sure to fill up the cups 3/4 of the way up with the drink. Top with the milk foam. Dust with a little cinnamon powder using a fine mesh shaker or a strainer.
Serve with tea cakes or cookies.
Sip slowly, it's time to relax!
I used canned pumpkin purée. You can find it in any supermarket during the holiday season or online.
For kids, you can substitute milk for coffee or you can use decaffeinated coffee.
I only mixed 4 spices that are Fall spice flavors. You can add any other typical Thanksgiving flavors that you like, such as allspice, mace or finely-powdered star anise.
I used a fine Microplane (spice grater) to grate the nutmeg.
I ground the clove using a mortar and pestle in a fine powder.
If you don't have an espresso machine, instant coffee works fine as well. Count about 1/4 cup of coffee per espresso shot.
You can froth the milk by hand. Just place 1-1/2 cups of milk in a non-stick saucepan. It's preferable to use whole milk because the higher fat content, the foamier the milk will get. Constantly whisk the milk until it's hot. After 1-2 minutes, a generous amount of froth will form with a very small amount of hot milk at the bottom. While waiting for the milk to boil, you have to be very careful. Don't go anywhere else. If the phone rings or someone's at the door, let it go. You really have to focus on frothing the milk otherwise you'll be cleaning your stove and scraping the burnt milk all night long! As soon as some bubbles come up, remove from the stove and continue whisking the hot milk.
Another speedy method to froth milk is to warm it in the microwave and foam it in a blender. This works but I think it doesn't create as much foam as the whisking version.
If you don't have a non-stick saucepan, my trick is to add a little water, wait until the water gets bubbly (not until it's evaporated though) and add milk. The cleaning of the saucepan will be much easier.
I sweetened the latte with condensed milk but you can use any other sweetener you prefer, such as agave nectar, honey or granulated sugar.
To make the pumpkin latte extra decadent, add a little crème chantilly (whipped cream) before dusting the cinnamon powder. We didn't because we're still trying to get in shape for our anniversary trip at the end of the month .
For a vegan version, you can use almond, soy or rice milk.