Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix | Selma's TableI have been fascinated by the furore that surrounds the Pumpkin Spice Latte from a well known coffee shop chain. You know, the one which claimed that it didn’t make any profit in the UK so didn’t pay any tax. The latest in the drama that seems to surround this business is that there is no pumpkin in their lattes. Cue media outrage and more sales as apparently, all publicity is good publicity. My understanding is that the latte is all about the flavour of the pumpkin pie spice mix and not the actual pumpkin itself.

In the UK pumpkin pie is not a part of our national food history so canned pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice blends are not easily found on the shelves of our grocery stores. So for those of you wishing to recreate a Pumpkin Pie or a  Pumpkin Spice Latte at home, this spice mix is for you. You can easily make pumpkin puree by roasting wedges of pumpkin or squash, pureeing and sieving the result, freezing in ice cube trays and storing the cubes in bags in the freezer.

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix | Selma's Table

Cinnamon, Ginger, Allspice, Cardamom & Nutmeg

The spice mix is so easily made with ingredients you will most probably have in your cupboards, that you will wonder why you left it so long to make your own. It is generally a blend of ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves, in varying quantities. I am not keen on cloves as they can be overpowering in a blend so I use allspice instead. And I have also added cardamom as I love the smell and flavour of it – so comforting, don’t you think? In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit to asking Jake to crush the cardamom seeds in the pestle and mortar. He did a magnificent job; much better than I ever could. He is now the official pestle and mortar man at Selma’s Table!

There are many uses for the Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix – in ravioli, cheesecakes, biscuits, cakes and pies – there are a plethora of recipes that celebrate this festive mix. My favourite thing to do though, is to sprinkle a teaspoon of pumpkin spice mix into a carved pumpkin before lighting at tea light and letting that delicious and seasonal aroma waft around the house!!

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix | Selma's TableI used a 70 ml Kilner Spice Jar to store the mix in and it was half full. If you want to give this as a gift, double the quantities to fill a bottle of that size. I find that the easiest way to fill the little jar is to place the measured ingredients on a piece of baking paper and then use the paper to funnel it into the jar.

I am sharing my Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix with the Fiesta Friday revellers. Generously hosted by Angie of the Novice Gardener who this weekend is celebrating her birthday! Just take a look at her fabulous Naked Cake – it is gorgeous!!

And a huge thanks to our fabulous  co-hosts; Suzanne of A Pug in the Kitchen and Sue of Birgerbird. Both very talented and prolific cooks with blogs that you will not be able to stop scrolling through…

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix

  • Servings: Makes 35 ml or or just over 2 Tbsps
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Measure out and place the spices in small airtight jar.
  2. Shake well to mix.

I used a 70 ml Kilner Spice Jar to store the mix in. If you want to give this as a gift, double the quantities to fill the bottle and add a gift tag with the instructions: “For pumpkin pie, add 1 – 1 ½  teaspoons of spice mix to your other ingredients.”

© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

Quick Peanut Butter and Chocolate Squares

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Squares | Selma's Table

Photo by James Ransom for Food52

My recipe for  Quick Peanut Butter and Chocolate Squares was a Community Pick over on one of my favourite food sites – Food52!  This is what they said about it –

Food52 Review: This recipe takes the classic chocolate and peanut butter pairing and turns it into a no-bake bar cookie. It’s the perfect dessert recipe to have in your back pocket for bake sales, picnics, large gatherings of any kind, or just when you need a sugar fix — stat.– A&M

And it was so beautifully photographed by the amazing James Ransom too! Lots of lovely comments and helpful tips in the comment section as well.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate SquaresThese Peanut Butter and Chocolate Squares are really quick to make and are delicious pick-me-up with a mid-morning espresso.  I think that they would be rather lovely with a glass of milk too. They are not too sweet, with that unmistakeable savoury peanut butter flavour; chocolatey with a little hit of  salt. The body is given by the Saltines which are an American cracker with a light sprinkling of salt on them. Saltines are very dry and very crisp –  in fact a Saltine Cracker Challenge exists, to eat 6 crackers in one minute without any water – easy to crunch up but very hard to swallow! I remember getting them, wrapped in their cellophane with a bowl of soup at The Hudson’s Bay in-store diner where I used to escape to during my lunch hour when I worked in retail. Saltines are available to buy on-line in the UK here but if you don’t want to wait, I have found that Sainsburys sell an Italian version called Doriano which is what I used for this recipe.

Saltine Cracker substitute

Saltine Cracker substitute

Bookmark my recipe for Peanut Butter and Chocolate Squares, for the festive season if you have a peanut butter loving friend; popped into one of those cellophane bags, this makes a lovely gift with the added bonus of being quick to make during the time constrained weeks leading up to the big day!

PB and Choc Sqs

These are so simple to make; blitz the crackers, melt the butter with the sugar and milk; pour onto crackers and peanut butter; mix and pat into a pan; cool, then cover with melted chocolate and sprinkle with flaky salt.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Squares | Selma's Table

Quick Peanut Butter and Chocolate Squares

  • Servings: 16 squares
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS

  • 450 g/2 cups caster sugar
  • 12o ml/ ½ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons/45g butter
  • 240 g Doriano crackers/Saltine crackers, finely blitzed in a food processor or crushed in a plastic bag with a rolling pin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 340 g smooth peanut butter
  • 200g dark chocolate broken up into small pieces (use semi sweet or milk chocolate if making for children)
  • 45ml/3tbsp double cream
  • Flaky sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Line a 9 inch square pan with parchment paper or non-stick foil. I have a really easy way to do this in Tips and Tricks – in the baking section. Leave a little overhang so that you can pull up on it later.
  2. Blitz or crush the crackers into fine crumbs, depending on how much texture you want in your squares. Doing this in a food processor took me about 2 minutes, pulsing for the last 30 seconds to check on progress.
  3. Empty into a large mixing bowl then scrape out the peanut butter and dump it on top of the crumbs.
  4. Place the sugar, milk, and butter in a saucepan over medium low heat, stirring from time to time. It needs come to a boil slowly. Once it comes to a full boil, set the timer for 1 minute. The mixture will froth and foam so don’t panic and take it off the heat.
  5. When the minute is up, carefully pour the extremely hot sugar mixture over the crackers and peanut butter.
  6. Add the vanilla and then stir with a spatula until it is really well combined.
  7. Scrape it into the prepared pan, pat it in and smooth it out and leave it to cool for about an hour.
  8. Slowly heat the cream in a pan until it just comes to a boil. Take it off the heat and stir in the pieces of chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and it’s all looking lovely and glossy.  Pour onto cooled peanut butter mix and cover, using a spatula to even it out.
  9. Sprinkle with sea salt while the chocolate is still warm.
  10. Pop into the fridge to allow it to set, then remove from the tin and using a large knife, cut into 16 squares  or whichever size you like.

© Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table, 2013, 2014. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material, including photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Selma Jeevanjee and Selma’s Table with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Squares