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Tendrils of fall weather have begun wrapping themselves around the last rays of summer. They have gingerly commenced the process of enveloping the heat that seems reluctant to release it’s reign. It started with an extra trace of coolness in the early morning air and has slowly moved into a lingering cool late into morning.

While Fall has yet to make an aggressive showing, the hints that it is coming have me growing impatient for the culinary delights it brings. Fall means apples, pumpkins, and the comforting spices of nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Any number of baked goods and hearty warm fall dinners lay ahead in the coming months. However, I have heard it said that you know Fall has truly arrived when the Pumpkin Spice Latte makes it’s annual appearance on coffee shop menu boards. I say, why wait? Let’s welcome Fall and encourage her arrival by enjoying this fall treat when we decide it’s time. With cooler, crisper air greeting me each morning, I’ve decided, for me, it is time. So, I’ve made my own Pumpkin Spice Latte…and it doesn’t cost me $5 a pop.

I didn’t set out to create my own version or to blog about it at all. I found a recipe by Annie’s Eats that was quite tasty. However, I felt that in order to get enough of the pumpkin and spice flavorings, you had to add so much of the syrup that the drink was far too sweet. I recreated the Pumpkin Spice Syrup in a more intense form, which allows you to use less of it, while still getting plenty of flavor. The best part about her recipe was that it solves the problem I have with every other pumpkin spice latte recipe I’ve tried. (In the interest of full disclosure….that would be one.) I have issues with weird textures in my drinks. I can’t stand the thick texture pureed pumpkin adds to most home-made pumpkin latte drinks (and by most, I mean the one I’ve previously tried.) But in this recipe the pumpkin is used to infuse it’s flavor into the syrup then strained out. Straining eliminates that pesky overly-thick texture problem. It leaves behind Pumpkiny, spicy, fall goodness in every sip!

When you decide it’s time for a little Fall in your life, I hope you’ll give this one a try!

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Begin by making the Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 cinnamon sticks (2 1/2 if you have Costco size)
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 generous tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 3/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

Place all ingredients in a small saucepan, whisking to combine. Warm over medium-high heat until the mixture comes just to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 15 minutes.

Strain through a fine mesh sieve. Your sieve will look like this when you are done:If you are extra picky about the texture of your drink (and I am), discard the pumpkin from the sieve, place some cheesecloth in the sieve and strain the mixture again. You will get all the finer particles that made their way through the first time. You will be left with a perfectly fall flavored simple syrup:Assembling the latte:

For the espresso we have a stove-top espresso maker like this but you could probably use extra strong coffee if you do not have espresso easily available to you.

I should also mention that I realize how sweet or strong you like your drink varies greatly by personal preference, so tweak away until you have found the way you like it best. The instructions below are for a 12 ounce drink.

  • 1 oz Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup
  • 3 oz espresso
  • 8 oz nonfat milk, heated and foamed (foaming optional)

I love Fall. Cider, chili, cornbread, roasts, apple butter, sweaters, pumpkin patches, trees on fire with vibrantly colored leaves, naps in front football on Sunday afternoons…and to kick it all off: Pumpkin Spice Lattes. May this treat bring joy to your fall mornings all season long!

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