Story and photos by Angie Sutton
Who doesn't love the season of pumpkin everything? Most recipes involving pumpkin likely call for a can of pure pumpkin puree. Simply meaning is it just that and nothing more than cooked, pureed pumpkin. This allows you to add a pinch of this seasoning or a teaspoon of that seasoning to create just the flavor you're looking for. Pumpkin pie filling is a convenience that is canned and pre-flavored with spices like cinnamon, cloves, allspice and ginger and is slightly sweetened.
The same goes for recipes calling for pumpkin pie spice. For those who may only make one or two recipes calling for this combination of cinnamon, ginger, all spice, nutmeg and cloves, the packed pumpkin pie spice works well. You may wish to add a pinch more cinnamon to enhance the flavor.
I prefer to make a batch of my own pumpkin pie spice each season. I like to quadruple the batch and then divide it into small jars with tightly-sealed lids to give to friends. The Saigon cinnamon and quality spices really make a difference in this mix.