Spicing up the fall cooking.

We are heading to that time of year.  Fall, when pumpkins are out on the market, cool weather and leaves are changing.  This brings to mind holidays, baking, warm soups with crusty bread.  This used to be my least favorite time of year.  When we lived in Michigan it meant the end of summer sun, bare feet, and shorts.  Today I live in Florida and actually look forward to the cooler nights and wearing jeans.

not mine, but looks just like it.  I just can’t make a pretty crust for anything!

One of the things that I have learned how to do is make my own spice mixes for the holidays.  You see I nearly always have the individual spices on hand, but rarely do I have the mixes such as pumpkin pie or apple pie seasoning.  How often to you really use pumpkin pie seasoning?  Why buy it when you can just make it?  What about apple pie seasoning?   In fact until a short time ago I actually thought pumpkin pie seasoning was it’s own individual spice. I know, I know, shameful!

I started making my own seasoning mix when I ran out of Herbs de Provence.  My middle daughter introduced me to that wonderful spice blend.  I absolutely fell in love with this mix.  I went to the store to pick more up and the price had risen.  I just couldn’t afford to replace it.  I decided to search online for a way to make it.  I had all the spices needed on hand. This blend is fantastic with fish, chicken or eggs.  When I found out how easy it was, I was on a roll.

Since that first time I have made a few other spice blends.  I have learned that the blends are stronger because the spices you have on hand are usually fresher than the combination you purchase at the store.  I have also learned that buying spices in their natural form makes them stay fresher longer.  An example would be nutmeg should be grated so that it is ground.  Another would be cloves.  Put these through a spice grinder or coffer grinder and the ground spice has a great aroma and taste.

This week I will give you 2 recipes.  One for Pumpkin Pie spice and one for Apple pie spice. I have  experimented with the Pumpkin Pie Spice and have not attempted the Apple Pie Spice. I don’t like to share something I have not worked out to my satisfaction, but the recipe has the exact ingredients that I would use.  I want to attempt the apple pie spice in an applesauce.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
4 tsp Cinnamon
2 tsp ground Ginger
1 tsp ground Cloves
1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg.

mix together and use in any recipe calling for pumpkin pie spice.

I never use the pumpkin pie spice in my pumpkin pie.  I use a very old recipe for pumpkin pie that was my grandma Julia Ganong’s recipe.  She died when my dad was a16 of breast cancer.  Maybe one day I will share that recipe with you.  In the mean time I will just tell you I use this in pumpkin muffins and anything I make using pumpkin.

Apple Pie Spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp Allspice
1/8 tsp cardamon

Mix together and use in one apple pie.  I can’t wait to see what this would work well in.  I’m thinking applesauce, breads?  What do you think?


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