Add Espresso To Your Pumpkin Pie For An Extra Kick

You may already be familiar with mixing coffee into your chocolate cake or brownie batter — the bitterness of espresso contrasts with the baked goods' sweetness to bring out their rich chocolate flavors. This same line of reasoning can be applied to espresso in pumpkin pie. Adding espresso to pumpkin acts in much the same way pumpkin spice does. These spices and flavors are warm and sharp, and they draw out the taste of the otherwise bland pumpkin base. The espresso will also give an extra kick of flavor (not to mention caffeine), creating a more dramatic pie.

We already know that adding espresso to pumpkin pie is a good idea because of the pumpkin spice latte. Espresso and pumpkin spice are both aromatic, complex flavors, but when sweetened and subdued by cream and sugar, the latte becomes well-rounded. This same dynamic is true for a pumpkin pie with an added shot. Espresso partners up with the pumpkin spices to make the entire pie more vibrant. Unlike a pumpkin spice latte, however, a shot of espresso across a whole pie won't be enough to taste — its presence will simply add a subtle complexity to the pie. This hack is perfect for people who like their pumpkin pies on the well-spiced side.

How to properly add espresso to a pumpkin pie

Espresso is a potent ingredient and should be treated almost like a seasoning in your pumpkin pie recipe. Since its goal is to enhance, not overpower, you only need a little. Adding a single shot of espresso, or about two tablespoons, is all you'll need for a whole pie. If you don't have an espresso machine, use about two teaspoons of instant espresso with two tablespoons of water to achieve the same effect.

Although you're introducing extra liquid into the pie, the amount is small enough that it won't change the consistency all that much. However, if you want to be safe, you can always remove a few tablespoons of milk to make room for the espresso.

For those who want to make coffee more prominent in their pumpkin pie's flavor profile, consider calling it a pumpkin spice latte pie instead. A pie with more espresso will have the same smooth kick that everyone loves in a pumpkin spice latte. For this pie, add two shots of espresso, or make a more concentrated instant espresso using more powder. This way, the coffee flavor won't be able to hide behind the pumpkin spice.