Pumpkin Spice Latte Pots de Crème
When the leaves begin to turn yellow and red, the sun begins to shine at an angle with clear intensity, and a cool breeze is in the wind my thoughts turn to “I wonder if the espresso stand has pumpkin spice lattes yet”! Silly as that seems I know many people who anxiously anticipates the return of the seasonal latte of choice. So, I was thinking of how to make those pumpkin spice latte ingredients into a dessert.
In the autumn my thoughts bring me back to the beautiful colors of leaf-peeping times touring New England. One cold Vermont day we happened upon a family run sugar shack. We hiked up to the rustic shed where the sap of thirty-plus-year-old maple trees is boiled down into a clear brown syrup. Maple syrup is perfect for pairing with pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices. But not too much syrup, please! I served this dessert to guests at the end of brunch. It was well received. I even noticed some spoon scraping noises as we all tried not to leave a single taste in the ramekins. I might just have to make another batch to savor in place of my afternoon latte and dream of those New England colors!
⅓ cup unsweetened canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup maple syrup
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 cup heavy cream
¾ cup whole milk
Ground cinnamon for sprinkling on the top
1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
2. Thoroughly mix the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, salt, and espresso powder in a mixing bowl. Blend in the canned pumpkin with the vanilla, maple syrup, and beaten egg yolks.
3. In a heavy saucepan bring the cream and milk to a simmer (bubbles barely breaking on the sides of the pan). Remove from the heat and whisk into the pumpkin mixture.
4. Pour the mixture into six six-ounce ramekins. Place in a roasting pan that has been positioned on the center rack of the oven. Add hot tap water to the pan, halfway up sides of ramekins. Cover the pan with foil. Prick holes in the foil with a fork.
5. Bake until the edges are lightly set but still jiggly in the center, about thirty to thirty-five minutes. Transfer the ramekins to a cooling rack and cool completely. Refrigerate at least three hours or overnight before serving.