It's that 'pumpkin' time of year again, and one of my favorite fall things is a pumpkin spice latte. Not long ago I swore off of Starbuck's because I was tired of paying nearly $5/cup for the occasional latte, and I'd found myself disappointed in the quality and consistency of their product one time too many.
We have been making our own lattes for a long time, and rarely buy them now, but on occasion we do, either because we are out of coffee, out of town, or some other random occurrence that doesn't allow us to make them at home. With our choice to cease patronizing Starbuck's, where would I get my pumpkin spice latte when fall rolled around? A little experimentation in the kitchen would answer that question.
I played around with spices, and other ingredients, and came up with a pumpkin spice latte recipe that I think is very good. The right amount of sweet, spice, and that coveted pumpkin punch...just right for my taste. Perhaps it will satisfy your taste, as well. This one is creamy and and full of seasonal spices.
This recipe is written for a single serving espresso machine (one 16 ounce latte, or two 8 ounce lattes - your choice), but you can make adjustments for a regular coffee maker, so long as you use strong coffee, and warm your milk to finish off the beverage. Steamed milk is not required, unless you want foam atop your latte vs. whipped cream.
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup half and half
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons prepared syrup (depending upon your taste)
2 shots espresso
8 ounces steamed milk
In a small saucepan, combine all syrup ingredients. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, transfer to an air tight container, and store in the refrigerator up to a week. Use daily, or as desired.
To make your latte, in the bottom of a 16 ounce coffee mug, add syrup and freshly poured espresso shots. Stir well to combine. Add the steamed milk, and top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of fresh grated nutmeg or cinnamon. If you prefer foam, and have steamed your milk, use that instead.
Note: if your syrup separates in the refrigerator, make sure you stir it well prior to use.