Pumpkin Pie Spice
The pumpkin is indigenous to North America and the earliest findings of pumpkin-related seeds have been found in Mexico and date back to 7,000 and 5,500 B.C. Native Americans harvested pumpkins and squash, boiling or roasting them and they shared them with the first settlers. The Plimoth Plantation (1620-1692) was the first permanent European settlement in the New England region, today this area is better known as Plymouth, MA. Food historians believe the first version of pumpkin dessert was made by these Pilgrims by filling a hollowed out pumpkin with milk, honey and spices.
The early settlers exported this new delicacy to France and later to England where pumpkin “flesh” was converted into a popular pie filler. In 1651, a famous French chef and the author of one the 17th centuries signature cookbooks contained the first “pumpkin pie like” dessert that included the pastry. The recipe was called Tourte of Pumpkin and it’s description was – boil with good milk, pass it through a straining pan very thick, and mix it with sugar, butter, a little salt and if you will, a few stamped almonds; let all be very thin. Put it in your sheet of paste and bake. After it’s baked, sprinkle it with sugar and serve.
In 1796 the first genuinely written and published in America cookbook, American Cookery was released. The author was Amelia Simmons and her “pumpkin puddings” were baked in a crust that very closely matches present day pumpkin pies. In the early nineteenth century pumpkin pie become a common addition to the Thanksgiving dinner tradition.
Pumpkin Pie Spice pairs more naturally with some flavors than with others. Some of our favorite ways to use this almost enchanted spice blend is with candied nuts (especially pecans), on pork tenderloins or pork chops (pairs nicely when mixed with a bit of garlic, olive oil and a drizzle or two of maple syrup), use it in place of just plain cinnamon on French Toast, and it’s almost magical when combined with canned pumpkin (but not canned pumpkin pie mix) in my morning oatmeal. We also like to sprinkle it over winter squash, sweet potatoes or carrots and roast, use it to spice up whipped cream, or mix it into some yogurt or ice cream base, sprinkle over your coffee grounds before brewing your coffee (to create your own Pumpkin Spiced Latte), stir into waffle or pancake batter or use it to season popcorn — it's quite a versatile spice blend.
Hand blended with cinnamon, ginger, clove and nutmeg.