Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Pumpkin Spice and Gingerbread Syrups

If you're a Pumpkin Spice Latte addict, why not make your own decadent syrup infused with REAL pumpkin, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries and whole cloves along with ground ginger and nutmeg? For gingerbread fans, try brown and white sugars simmered with fresh ginger and a cinnamon stick. From coffee to waffles this is all the best of fall in a jar!

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Well, 'tis the season for all things sweet and spicy. Everything in the stores these days seems to have an Autumnal equivalent, be it apple-cinnamon, gingerbread or even the often-mocked pumpkin spice. I have nothing against those flavours this time of year - they warm you up from the inside and are almost always associated with physically warm things (like the aforementioned latte). Where I do find it a little frustrating is that "pumpkin" or "gingerbread" items rarely contain pumpkin or real ginger - those perishables are left out in favour of sugar and flavouring.

The obvious solution is to make your own! Take this Pumpkin Spice Syrup for example. More than simply tossing cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves into a simple syrup, I decided to up the "pumpkin" quotient by using a pumpkin "stock" of sorts. It added a lightly sweet, vegetal flavour that perfectly highlighted to stronger spices. In addition, with the exception of the nutmeg I used whole spices as a type of "tea", straining them after the mixture reduced. The result was a flavourful but not overwhelmingly spicy syrup, which is perfect for adding to coffee or cocoa as well as drizzling onto waffles.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup
Makes ~ 2 cups
Deseeded pulp from 2 pumpkins
water to cover
1 1/2 cups sugar
1" piece fresh ginger, peeled
2" piece cinnamon stick
5 allspice berries
3 whole cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  1. Combine the pumpkin pulp and enough water to cover it in a large pot. Cover and simmer for 3 hours.
  2. Remove from heat and strain through fine mesh. Discard solids.
  3. Measure 3 cups of the liquid and return to the pot.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to a brisk simmer and cook until reduced by 1/3, about 1 hour.
  6. Store in the fridge or can 10 minutes in a waterbath.

This dark gingerbread-flavoured syrup is not shy in the spice department, but it is thinner than the Pumpkin Spice version. I canned some for later (leaving the ginger chunks and cinnamon stick in the liquid) and stashed the rest in the fridge, where it thickened slightly, like maple syrup. Again, this is fantastic in coffee drinks (or Chai tea), but wouldn't be remiss drizzed onto pumpkin bread or mixed into cream cheese as a cookie filling.

Gingerbread Syrup
Makes ~ 2 3/4 cups, 22 (1 fl. oz) servings
1 cup dark brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 cups water
4" piece ginger, peeled and diced
1 (2") cinnamon stick
  1. Combine the sugars, water, sliced ginger and cinnamon stick in a large stainless steel saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring.
  3. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick if desired (I didn't).
  4. Can 10 minutes in a waterbath.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 55.0
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 4.0 mg
Total Carbs: 17.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.0 g
Protein: 0.0 g

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