Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix

We've got pumpkin pie on the brain this week! Yesterday, we examined the canned pumpkin that is often used to make the pie's filling. Today, we turn our attention toward pumpkin pie spice. Click through to learn what it is and for some uses beyond pie. Pumpkin pie spice is a spice mix that generally includes cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Other ingredients may include allspice, mace, cardamom, and black pepper. A dash of pumpkin pie spice adds the characteristic warm and flavor to pumpkin pie and other seasonal dishes.

• Although pumpkin pie spice can be found in grocery store spice aisles, it's also easy to blend at home, where you can adjust the ingredients and proportions to your liking. This is the recipe we use:

Pumpkin Pie Spice (adapted from Tony Hill, The Contemporary Encyclopedia of Herbs & Spices)
Makes 2 tablespoons

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Blend ingredients together and store in an airtight container.

• Don't stop at pumpkin pie! Despite its name, pumpkin pie spice can really be an all-purpose pantry item. Here are a few other ways to incorporate it into your cooking:

– Add it to cake, cookie, muffin, and pancake batters (use it in place of cinnamon or use about 1/2 teaspoon per cup of batter)
– Swirl it into oatmeal and other hot breakfast cereals
– Use it to season carrots, sweet potatoes, and winter squash
– Simmer it with apples when making homemade applesauce
– Sprinkle it over vanilla ice cream

Please leave more ideas in the comments!

Related:
Canned Pumpkin: What Is It Really Made Of?

(Image: Flickr member Clay Smith licensed under Creative Commons)

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