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100% Pumpkin Sunday Breakfast

For breakfast on Sunday, we went pumpkin crazy. We started with homemade pumpkin spice lattes. Well, I guess they were really pumpkin spice cafe au laits, but you could make lattes if you happen to have an espresso maker. As much as I like the Starbucks version, it contains lots of sugar and (in my view) unnecessary additives, which can be a problem if you’re gluten-intolerant or have other food allergies.

Pumpkin Spice Cafe Au Lait
Makes 2 big servings

Ingredients and Directions for Pumpkin Spice Mix:

1/2 cup pumpkin puree (fresh, if possible, but canned is fine)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix thoroughly and use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to a week or so.

Ingredients and Directions for Cafe Au Laits:

In a saucepan, whisk 2 heaping tablespoons of Pumpkin Spice Mix with 2 cups milk (dairy or non-dairy) and 2 cups of strong coffee. Cook on low for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Try to keep the mixture from boiling too vigorously, so the milk doesn’t burn.

To serve, strain through a fine sieve to remove the solids and pour into mugs. Straining is optional, but it’s nice not to get a mouthful of pumpkin pulp at the end.

Note: We’re not fans of sweet coffee, but maple syrup would be a great addition if you enjoy your coffee on the sweeter side. You can alter the milk/coffee ratio if you want it stronger or weaker.

Once we had our coffee and were awake and thinking clearly, we realized the pumpkin mixture could be used for French toast! Double pumpkin!

Pumpkin Spice French Toast
Makes 2-4 servings (depending on how hungry and/or indulgent you’re feeling)

Ingredients:

8-12 1-inch thick slices of a day-old baguette
Double batch of Pumpkin Spice Mix
1 1/2 cups milk (dairy or non-dairy)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter

Directions:

  1. Arrange the bread in a rimmed baking sheet so that all the bread lays flat. Use a pan that fits the bread, but without too much extra space, so that the bread sits in a deep bath of the milk mixture.
  2. Whisk the milk and cornstarch into the Pumpkin Spice Mix. Pour the milk mixture over the bread and then flip each slice so that both sides are covered.
  3. Let the bread sit on the counter for 20 minutes, then flip the slices and let it sit for another 10 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375.
  5. Drain the bread for 1 to 2 minutes on a wire cooling rackset on another rimmed baking sheet.
  6. Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet over medium-low heat.
  7. Working two slices at a time, cook the French toast in the skillet for 2 to 3 minutes on each slide.
  8. Put the browned toast into the oven (directly on the middle rack) for 5 more minutes.
  9. Repeat for all slices. Devour.

This technique, from His Majesty Alton Brown, creates French toast with a perfectly brown crust and a creamy, custardy middle. It does take a little more time than the usual method, but it’s definitely worth it. The extra soaking time is worthwhile, too, since the flavors really get absorbed. Just use the waiting time to take a shower and dry your hair!

I wanted to finish it off with pumpkin pie for dessert, but Erik talked me down and convinced me I might turn orange. You can never have too much pumpkin in my opinion! :)

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