Michigan fall, you guys. Oh man, what beautiful stuff! I went up north with some friends a few weeks ago for our fall break, up to Starvation Lake, and it was amazing seeing the fiery reds, sunny yellows, vibrant oranges, and even some awesome chartreuse. Even just in Ann Arbor, the colors have been amazing.
While the Bay Area has been getting consistent weeks of 80s, we here in Michigan have dropped to frosty 40s in the mornings with some warmer afternoons. I’m loving the crisp air and the crunch of leaves under my feet. It’s truly a gorgeous time of year.
I’m just sad that the wind in the last few days has blown many of these pretty leaves off the trees (because winter is coming and that means that trees will be bare for foreeeever aka until April).
This morning, my housemate Michelle and I made our way to one neighborhood gem and then another (just because you have a delicious breakfast doesn’t mean you don’t need to take advantage of Washtenaw donuts!). It was such a wonderful way to start my Sunday, and we continued the love coming home, picking up pretty leaves and cooking up a batch of pumpkin butter. After a “hell week” this week at school, I needed some warm comfort. This hit the spot!
Pumpkin butter is wonderful, and so full of fall flavors. I decided to take this the chai route, loading this up with star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and ginger. This pumpkin butter is nice and smooth, rich in spice and not overly sweet. The cardamom here brings wonderful warmth, it makes for a nice spin on a classic (not #pumpkinspiceeverything). Punkin’ buttah will definitely be making it into the rotation more this fall…
Chai-Spiced Pumpkin ButterMakes ~2 cups
- 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
- Just a little less than 1/2 c maple syrup
- 1/4 c fresh apple cider
- 4 whole green cardamom pods, lightly smashed to open them up
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise pod
- 3 whole cloves
- 2-3 slices fresh ginger
- Teensy pinch of salt
Whatchu gotta do:
- Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, then turn to low and let bubble away (stirring frequently) until it’s cooked down and caramelized in color (roughly 20-30 minutes). The color will have deepened significantly, and your house will smell amazeballs.
- Allow to cool before removing the whole spices and ginger slices, then store in a jar in the fridge (if you manage to not eat it all in one sitting).
What?!?!! THAT EASY?? Yep. Now you have yummy stuff to stir into yogurt or oats, or just spoon into your mouth. No excuses.