Pumpkin Spice from scratch

By Dan, September 12, 2014

Pumpkin SpiceEXAMINATION

A beginning is a very delicate time. In this time, the most precious substance in the universe is Pumpkin Spice. The Pumpkin Spice extends life and expands consciousness. The Pumpkin Spice is vital to pies, scones, and yes, even lattes.

Mmmm… Pumpkin Spice. Definitely my favorite girl power pop singer. She married the footballer, right? Never mind.

ANALYSIS

Makes 1/4 cup = 4 Tbsp = 12 tsp

2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp ground cloves

Apparatus

Procedure

  1. If you have a spice grinder, grind your whole dry spices individually. Clean the grinder bowl and cap well with a dry rag between spices.
  2. Mix together very well all of the spices and transfer to an airtight container.

DISSECTION

If you don’t want to buy a spice grinder, as they can be a bit expensive, a coffee bean grinder works just as well. Electric ones are the best. A spice mill is great for cooking to add spice, but it will not grind fine enough for a mix like this as it is best for cracking.

grinderWhat about nutmeg? For cooking and wanting to add a light dusting or a pinch of nutmeg to a dish, a nutmeg grater is perfect. But unless you want to grate down a whole nutmeg, you should use a grinder. Just know that you will want to crack the nutmeg (and the cinnamon sticks) first so that they grind easily.

Regarding ginger, if you are grinding that, make sure that you buy dried ginger root, not fresh. Candied ginger is tasty but also not recommended for grinding. Note also that the ginger, believe it or not, was the hardest to grind. Even after breaking it down and grinding longer than the other spices (more than 30 seconds) there were stone-like little balls that refused to grind. Just pick those out and move on.

In my grinding, I found the following measurements to be consistent, but of course, size of any whole spice comes into play:

  • One whole nutmeg grinds to about 2 tsp.
  • One stick of cinnamon grinds to about 1 Tbsp.
  • One piece of dry ginger grinds to about 3 Tbsp.
  • The cloves and allspice grounds will compact a bit, so you can grind a little more than what fits in a 1/2 teaspoon.

If you don’t have allspice, you can substitute with 1/2 tsp more of cloves.

Oh, yes. I forgot to tell you…

One final word about grinding your own spices. Trust me, do the cloves last. They have the most oil and it stains very well and will flavor the other spices.

POST-MORTEM

He who controls the Pumpkin Spice controls the universe. What? Oh, sorry.

Anyway, nothing beats this spice mix when everything is freshly ground. However, if you don’t have a grinder or don’t want to deal with buying whole spices, then make sure that you buy the best spices you can get.

No matter what, if you make this mix yourself, your dishes will have a consistent, more vibrant flavor than just buying a jar of “pumpkin spice” from the supermarket.

The Pumpkin Spice must flow!

What do you think?

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: