There’s nothing like pumpkin to add some colour to the grey autumnal weather.
This time of year brings us this versatile savory sweet vegetable in abundance. Mostly it’s a bright orange store of sunlight with hearty, nurturing and delicious flesh. All this means we usually end up with a glut at this time of year, especially if you’re buying a few to decorate the house for Halloween.
One great way to make the most of pumpkin (other than force feeding your family pumpkin soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner) is to prepare syrup from the flesh and combine it with seasonal spices. You could use this for all sorts of things, from cocktails to dessert toppings, but my favourite use is to make a warming spiced pumpkin latte.
For the coffee in the base, I use two shots of espresso – specifically, two CRU Dark Roast espresso pods, as I love the way the crema (that rich golden layer that sits atop good espresso) works with the syrup and cream to create an indulgent, moreish coffee.
If you don’t have a machine that will take CRU pods, have a look at Merlin’s guide to making a cheat’s espresso at home.
This spiced pumpkin latte is absolutely perfect as a little reward for a hard day’s work in winter, and works even better with a shot of brandy in it. Serve it at the end of a dinner party and your guests will think you’re a genius.
John’s Spiced pumpkin latte recipe
(enough for 8 – 10 spiced pumpkin lattes)
- 1 small pumpkin
- 400ml water
- 200ml maple syrup
- 250ml agave syrup
- 6 tsp ground ginger
- 4 sticks of cinnamon
- 2 tsp whole cloves
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 2 shots of CRU Dark Roast blend espresso (or equivalent)
- 6 tbsp syrup
- 1 tbsp of double cream
Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F. Skin and dice the small pumpkin, then roast it in a baking tray with no seasonings until slightly golden. Put it hot into a liquidizer with 50ml of the agave syrup and blitz.
Place all the ingredients along with pumpkin puree into a saucepan and stir while bringing to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for a further 10 minutes. Strain the syrup through a muslin cloth or fine sieve and set aside.
Place 2 shots of CRU espresso into a glass (approximately 70ml). Then add 6 tbsp of syrup into the coffee. Lightly whip the cream and add a teaspoon to the coffee, then grate over a little nutmeg to garnish. Boom!