You know it's fall when Starbucks is serving Pumpkin Spice Lattés, even if it is still in the mid-80's in California. I love me some Starbucks but I am not a fan of paying $4 for coffee, so I had to come up with a homemade (and all-natural) version! After a week of Pumpkin Spice Lattés, I think I've got it just right. If you try it, please leave a comment and let me know how you like it!
When I set out to recreate this Starbucks holiday fave, the thought of putting squash in my coffee was a little gross. Until now, the strangest thing I had put in my coffee was cheese, that is, mascarpone cheese (I was out of milk or cream - I was desperate!). It might surprise you that I also use egg yolk in my version of a Pumpkin Spice Latté -- the magic ingredient that really gives that custardy pumpkin pie flavor. I really went for indulgence here, this ain't no "skinny latté" but it's well worth it.
A few notes about my pursuit for the perfect homemade Pumpkin Spice Latté... Two tablespoons of sugar may seem like a lot but it's approximately half the sugar in the Starbucks version, which leaves a little room to make it sweeter if you like. Also, I tried different combinations of milk, cream, half-n-half and coconut milk to find the perfect consistency, but if you're looking for a dairy-free latté, click over to my version with coconut milk.
Pumpkin Spice Latté
- 1/2 cup Half-N-Half
- 2 Tbsp pumpkin puree
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
- a dash of cloves, allspice etc.
- fresh grated nutmeg to garnish, if you have it
Mix all ingredients thoroughly in blender - frothy is good. I use a Magic Bullet but a stick blender or just a good hard whisk would work as well.
In small saucepan, gently warm mixture on medium low, and whisk constantly to prevent the yolk from cooking (i.e. curdling, i.e. scrambling). Do not bring to a boil. Keep it at a bare simmer at the most.
After a few minutes the sugar should have dissolved and the mixture should thicken enough to lightly coat a spoon.
When mixture is very warm, but not too hot to touch, pour into your cup, followed by a shot or two of espresso -- a cup of regular coffee works just fine too, but then you must call it a pumpkin au lait.
Have you seen one of these stovetop espresso pots before? The water goes in the bottom, the espresso grounds go above the water, and the espresso bubbles up into the carafe. Neat!
Top with fresh grated nutmeg if you have it.