I have to admit something to you all – something that may just shock the socks off your best friend.
So . . here we go. . .here’s my big secret . . .I’m American, right? Well as the story goes in Europe, Americans – all Americans -love pumpkin pie. True story – all the Europeans I’ve ever met think all Americans just love pumpkin pie.
I’ve only had pumpkin pie 3 times in my life – and two of those times have been during Thanksgiving dinners celebrated in Norway. No lie. The first time I tried pumpkin pie was in 2008. In 2008 when I was 28 years old. Not at birth.
There are probably several reasons for this – the main one being that I’m an Arizona native with parents both born in Arkansas. My parents are from “the South”, so I grew up eating pumpkin pie’s southern cousin, sweet potato pie, during Thanksgiving season every year – not pumpkin pie.
In 2008 when I made my very first pumpkin pie, I made it from a can of the overpriced pumpkin pie mix found in the “expat” section of my local grocery store. My first pumpkin pie was enormous, and seemed to put my newly adopted family at ease. As they expected, American Thanksgiving was complete – as they’d all just had their first pumpkin pie too. I can’t say I’m enormously fond of pumpkin pie however, but I am very fond of pumpkin pie spice.
So in light of my fondness for pumpkin pie spice, I make it myself and keep it stocked in my kitchen. During the colder months in the year, I put pumpkin pie spice in or on just about everything. I use pumpkin spice in hot chocolate and lattes, in oatmeal porridge or as a replacement for cinnamon in cookie, cake and frosting recipes.
For this recipe, you’ll need a spice grinder or mortar & pestle to grind the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves and dried vanilla pods (once I’ve scraped the seeds out for another recipe, I let the pods dry out on the counter for a day or two, then place them in an airtight jar). I’ve tested grinding spices in the blender but the results did not come out well-boo!
Also, you may use more of one spice, or less of another to make the spice mix appeal to your own tastes. Feel free to exclude the cloves if you wish, too.
Pumpkin Pie Spice
4 tablespoons freshly ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg
4 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons freshly ground allspice
2 teaspoons mace
2 teaspoons ground vanilla pods (not vanilla sugar!)
3 freshly cloves
1 Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight jar or container.
2 Enjoy on warm beverages, oatmeal porridge, or in pumpkin pie.
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