Expect pumpkin and you won’t be disappointed


I’m not a cooking blogger, and I think the why will become apparent. Except for baking, which is like science for hungry people, my cooking is very…approximate. I’m going to try my darnedest to give specific amounts and directions here, but understand that these recipes are all more of a template – free to play around with as you like!

R is for Recipes:

  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Pumpkin Pie Filling
  • Pumpkin Pie Coffee
  • Harvest Spice Stuffed French Toast

Pumpkin Pie Spice

The other thing about these recipes is that there’s going to be some nested functions. I don’t like when a recipe includes another recipe that you need which isn’t noted early on, so I’m trying to avoid that here. The pumpkin pie spice is in each of the following recipes, but feel free to use any recipe for pumpkin pie spice that you like, or even use premade. 

Ingredients

  • 6 parts ground cinnamon
  • 2 parts ground ginger
  • 2 parts ground nutmeg
  • 1 part ground allspice
  • 1 part ground cloves
  • A pinch of cardamom (optional – gives a hint of a chai flavor) 

Since in this first one I already failed to give specific amounts, and instead went with “parts” – I should also note that 3 teaspoons makes one tablespoon. If you use teaspoons as your “part” then it will make a quarter cup (4 tbsp or 2 fl oz) of spice

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • A pinch of cardamom (optional – gives a hint of a chai flavor)

Directions

  1. Put everything into a bowl or sealed container.
  2. Stir, mix, or shake until blended and all clumps are gone.

Pumpkin Pie Filling

The second nested function is the “pumpkin pie filling” – since we’re not actually making pumpkin pie, this isn’t the same exactly as what you find on the back of a can of pumpkin. For starters, there’s no egg because it’s not meant to be cooked. Secondly, I cut back on the sugar because I like to be able to adjust the sweetness. 

Remember though that pumpkin itself is bitter, so you do need a solid serving of sweetened condensed milk to balance it out.

Ingredients

  • 1 can pumpkin (or use a pound of cooked pumpkin)
  • ½ can sweetened condensed milk (put the rest in a jar to use later)
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Puree the pumpkin in a blender for a few minutes, until silky smooth. *
  2. Combine all the ingredients – in the blender, or in a bowl if you skipped step 1.
  1. Mix until combined, on puree setting or with a whisk or fork.
  2. Put everything into a small pot and simmer for 5 minutes over medium high heat*
  3. Put into a container with a lid to be used over a few days.

Although I’m not using their recipe, the Kitchn has some great advice for prepping your pumpkin that works just as well here as in their pumpkin pie. In fact, I’d say it’s even more important for these recipes than actual pumpkin pie and I’m totally going to try it next time. Cooking ahead of time will allow you to cut back some on the sweetened condensed milk as it cuts into the bitterness. Pureeing the puree will definitely improve the mouthfeel on the pumpkin coffee, which was my only complaint when I made it.

I included the steps here with an asterisk. Skip at your own peril!

Pumpkin Pie Coffee

It’s worth noting here that this is not the PSL you know. This isn’t pumpkin spice. It’s full-on pumpkin which means that it’s basically a vegetable. Of course feel free to adjust the amount of pumpkin pie filling to taste. If you actually  like the taste of coffee this may not be the recipe for you. I prefer my coffee to be about half milk and a quarter sugar. And a quarter pumpkin.

If you didn’t puree your pumpkin puree, then you may have a kind of grainy/pulpy feeling with the coffee. Still tastes good though.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp milk of your choice
  • ¼ cup Pumpkin Pie Filling
  • 8 oz of prepared coffee
  • Sweetened condensed milk (optional)
  • Whipped Cream
  • Butterscotch (or caramel) sauce to drizzle

Directions

  1. Add the milk and pumpkin pie filling to an empty mug and microwave briefly – about 20-30 seconds or until steaming.
  2. Mix well. I used the frother attached to my coffeemaker. The milk helps to thin out the pumpkin pie filling and makes it lighter and fluffier.
  1. Make the coffee to your taste. I recommend making it pretty strongly-flavored to hold up to the pumpkin pie filling. If you like things really sweet you can add sugar, or sweetened condensed milk now. But it’s quite sweet without.
  2. Slowly pour the coffee into the pumpkin froth. You can pour over a spoon or along the side of the cup. Try to keep a layer of froth on the top. If you want. Whatever.
Obviously I have no foam. 
  1. Top it off with whipped cream and a drizzle of butterscotch sauce. 

I used a butterscotch drizzle using bottled smuckers butterscotch sauce because we already had some from Dr. Nerd making Butterbeer, but if you’ve got homemade caramel sauce or dulce de leche that would be delicious.

Harvest Spice Stuffed French Toast

To make stuffed french toast at home, you basically just spread a filling in between two slices. Here, I use plain cream cheese for that filling, but a 1:1 mix of cream cheese and the pumpkin pie filling above would be amazing! 

I made these with the stuff I had at home, as far as the toppings and the bread (which is sourdough here) but in case I haven’t made it clear yet… Use whatever you have! Make it yours! 

This is a “serving” for one, but a ridiculously huge serving. It was plenty for me to share with my gal Friday. To cut it down a bit, use two slices of bread but keep the rest of the ingredients the same. To scale up, use the same ratio of 2 eggs to 1 cup of milk for every 4 slices of bread. 

Ingredients

  • ½  cup milk of choice (or cream or half and half or whatever) 
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • Dash of vanilla
  • 3 slices of crusty day old bread (or regular sliced bread if that’s all you have) 
  • Butter for cooking
  • 2 tbsp cream cheese
  • Handful of granola – I used a pumpkin spice granola with pepitas
  • Handful of candied pecans (or regular, or walnuts), chopped
  • Whipped Cream (optional) 
  • Butterscotch (or caramel) sauce to drizzle, or maple syrup

Directions

  1. Combine milk, eggs, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla – Use a flat bottom container that will hold your bread. Beat with fork or whisk until well mixed.
  1. Add the bread. Dip and flip each slice to make sure they’re all fully coated.
  2. Turn the stove to medium heat and add the butter to a pan or griddle. Wait until the pan comes to temperature before continuing. 
  3. Add the pieces of soggy bread to the pan. Cook until golden, about 3 minutes per side. 
  1. Let cool slightly, then spread half the cream cheese on one slice and the other half on another. The third slice doesn’t get any. 
  1. Stack up your slices, with the one with no cream cheese on top. 
  1. Top it off! Add the nuts, granola, and drizzle of maple syrup, butterscotch sauce, or condensed milk, along with a smidge of whipped cream and a sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice

I like my French toast on the eggy side and used two eggs instead of one. If you’re scaling up feel free to just add an extra egg. 

Yep, we may be the only household in the world that uses cloth diapers and paper plates (not always, obviously) 

Enjoy with your pumpkin coffee! 

Your thoughts?

Let me know if you tried any of today’s recipes. What changes did you make? Hit me up in the comments or on Discord!

All that Nerdish

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