To me pumpkins mean autumn. Back home, there would be crisp chill in the air and the rainbow of color everywhere from saffron to carrot to beet. Along with autumn comes Halloween. And, Halloween is a pretty big deal where I come from. What can I say? People go all out for this once pagan holiday, which has evolved into a tradition of spooky fun, laughter, costumes and sweeties. Houses are decked out with graveyard scenes with witches, ghosts and goblins and glowing cauldrons brimming with treats. Pumpkins in every size shape and color abound. I always knew when Halloween was descending.
But, this year, I almost forgot about Halloween as there was nothing here in SA to remind me. I had aha moment late in September when there was all this pumpkin chatter online about Pumpkin Spiced Lattes (PSL), a hot coffee drink served at almost all American coffee shops, apparently.
I have never had a PSL, but it sounded dreamy. But, who wants a hot drink recipe this time of year? There are a bunch of PSL recipes online so I won’t bore you with another one. Most of the online pumpkin recipes call for canned pumpkin puree. We don’t have that here. We do have pumpkin peeled, seeded and chopped in all the stores. So, basically, pumpkin handed to me on a silver platter. I got some and baked it wrapped in foil, and made my own homemade Pumpkin Spiked Latte. And, it’s not hot and it doesn’t contain coffee.
Now, my dilemma, what to do with all that left over pumpkin?
Pumpkin Spiked Latte Recipe
Makes 2 servings.
2 heaping cups (250 mls) pumpkin, chopped, cooked and semi frozen
2 cups (250 mls) ice cream, low fat ice cream or frozen yogurt
2 tablespoons sugar or your favorite sweetener
2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice or a few pinches of each cinnamon, ground ginger and nutmeg
2 shots whiskey, rum or you can add a few teaspoons of vanilla extract instead of alcohol but not necessary
Whipped Cream and spices to finish (optional)
Put cooked cubes of pumpkin in a single layer in a large shallow plastic container. Place in deep freeze for about an hour. You want the pumpkin semi frozen not frozen solid. It will be too hard to blend if it is frozen solid. (If you don’t semi freeze the pumpkin ahead of time, your drink will be too liquidy.)
Put the semi frozen pumpkin in the blender bowl then add the ice cream, sugar, spices, and the whiskey. Start blending. You may need to shut off the blender a time or two to break up any solid lumps with a spoon. Just take care not to turn blender on while you have the spoon in there.
Whip it until it is smooth creamy and orange. This may take a few minutes. Then pour into glasses