Have you ever passed up a recipe that appealed to you simply because you didn't have the pre-made spice mix listed in the ingredients? I can't begin to list the number of times I've looked past gorgeous photos of Pumpkin Breads, Pies, Granolas, etc, simply because my pantry did not stock the called for "Pumpkin Pie Spice".
With fall recipe season in full swing, any number of tempting options including pumpkin will call for this warming spice, and with just 5 ingredients that your pantry probably does stock, you can make your own in minutes.
An extensive internet search showed nearly every Pumpkin Pie Spice recipe featuring portions of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Many also include a touch of clove, and a few add one of my favorite spices, allspice.
Once I had my list of ingredients, planning the proper proportions became the next task. The cinnamon to ginger ratios ranged from 4:3 to 4:1. Ground clove was often left out all together, and in other cases listed at 2 teaspoons to 4 Tbs of cinnamon. Apparently, no hard and fast recipe exists for this autumn flavored spice mix, hence, personal preference plays a big part.
Cinnamon, listed as a main ingredient in 100% of recipes, became my starting point. Knowing I would most likely need the spice mix for five or six recipes this season, I started at 3 Tbs. With ginger being my next favorite ingredient in the mix, the ginger measurement became our second largest in the batch. Nutmeg, always a popular flavor received slightly less than the ginger, and the clove and allspice brought up the rear.
Clove is a tough one for me as for many years I didn't like anything with a hint of clove. I banned the spice from my pantry and simply forgot about it. One Thanksgiving, however, my neighbor made a Pumpkin Pie that I will never forget. The creamy pie had more flavor than any other pumpkin pie I had ever had, and brought along a brightness and depth which much to my horror, I discovered came from a decent amount of clove. Perhaps my palate grew up, or maybe my mind simply opened, but whatever the reason, I've come to respect what even a small amount of ground clove can do for a recipe.
With so much personal preference out there, you may use our recipe as a guide for your tastes. If ginger is not high on your list, decrease the amount. Adore clove? Add extra. Don't care for all spice? Delete it altogether.
Whatever recipe you come up with, mix up a batch or two for the season, and you may even want to mix up a few to use a hostess gifts during the holidays. An old spice jar works beautifully with a little ribbon and homemade label. Enjoy!
Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice
With so much personal preference out there, use our recipe as a guide for your tastes and enjoy your own creation.
3 Tbs ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves (scant)
1/4 tsp ground allspice
Place all ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine. Store in an old spice jar and keep in a cool, dark location such as a pantry.