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Recipes

A Very Diaspora PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte)

Recipe By: Asha Loupy

Makes: 4–6 lattes

A Very Diaspora PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte)
Photo by:  

Melati Citrawireja

Over the last decade and a half, the PSL (a.k.a. pumpkin spice latte) has become an American autumnal staple. Our very Diaspora PSL is a dreamy, spice-forward take on the classic — a generous amount of the Peni Miris cinnamon and Anamalai nutmeg for all the pumpkin pie feels, rich in Baraka cardamom and Anamalai mace, and just a touch of spicy heat from Makhir ginger, Kandyan cloves, and a few grinds of Aranya black pepper.

You can make the syrup with any sturdy winter squash, but our two favorites are kabocha and red kuri, for their silky, squash-y richness. Our team loves a PSL that is heavy on the pumpkin spice syrup and the dairy (yes, it's perfect with both cow and plant-based milks!), because who is really drinking a PSL for the coffee? We're here for the sweet, sweet, warming spiciness of it all! But, feel free to play with the proportions of syrup, milk, and espresso or coffee until you reach your ideal fall sip.

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Ingredients

For the pumpkin spice blend
For the pumpkin spice syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups winter squash (such as kabocha, red kuri, or sugar pumpkin), peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons Pumpkin Spice Blend (recipe above)
  • Pinch of salt
For one latte
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup cow's or plant-based milk
  • 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup Pumpkin Spice Syrup (recipe above)
  • 1 shot Espresso or your desired amount of strongly brewed coffee
  • Unsweetened or lightly sweetened whipped cream, for garnish (optional)

Methods

To make the spice blend
  1. Place the mace, cloves, cardamom, and allspice into a spice grinder and grind into a fine powder. Transfer the ground spices to a bowl, add the cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, and pepper, and mix well. (Note: this recipe will make about three times the spice mix needed for the syrup. Keep in an airtight container and use in other pumpkin- and fall-inspired recipes, like Asha's Spiced Persimmon Tart.)
To make the pumpkin spice syrup
  1. Place the squash, water, brown sugar, maple syrup, 2 tablespoons pumpkin spice blend, and salt in a medium saucepan, and mix well to start to dissolve the spices in the water.
  2. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil over medium high heat, cover, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the squash is fully cooked through and can easily be mashed with the side of a fork, about 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of the cubes of squash. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Transfer the cooked squash and all the liquid to a blender and purée until smooth. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
To make one PSL
  1. To make a hot PSL, whisk together the milk and your desired amount of pumpkin spice syrup in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Pour the hot milk and pumpkin spice mixture into your favorite mug (if you have a little handheld milk frother, now is the time to use it—but don't try and froth this on an actual espresso machine because the syrup will clog the nozzle!). Top with hot espresso or strongly brewed coffee and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream, if using.
  2. To make an iced PSL, add the milk and your desired amount of pumpkin spice syrup to a glass and mix well. Add ice and give everything another stir. Slowly drizzle in the espresso, so it creates an espresso layer on top. Finish with a dollop of whipped cream, if using.