Atole and its chocolatey cousin champurrado are commonly enjoyed during the festive winter months. If you want to get a jump on atole season, though, this pumpkin version is designed to be enjoyed during Fall.
For those who’ve never tried atole, the warm, masa-based beverage is the ideal comforting drink for the colder seasons. This version incorporates spices like cinnamon and star anise while mixing in pumpkin puree for an autumnal flavor.
One of the keys to this recipe lies in its sweetening agent, piloncillo. The cone-shaped “sugar” can be found at places like Northgate Market, and is an unrefined ingredient made from boiling and evaporating cane sugar juice. It’s flavors are key to bringing the atole to life.
You can view the full recipe to this fall-based Pumpkin Atole in Northgate Market’s new holiday cookbook, arriving in early December. If you want to make it ahead of then, though, check it out below.
1 cup masa harina
6 cup water, divided
4 cups milk
1 cup pure canned pumpkin
2/3 cup grated piloncillo
1 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 vanilla bean split
1 large hollowed pumpkin (approximately 11” wide), small hollowed pumpkins for cups (approximately 4-5” tall and wide)
Extra long cinnamon sticks, star anise and pumpkin pie spice for garnish
In a medium bowl, combine masa harina and 2 cups of water. Stir well to avoid any lumps.
In a large saucepan, combine milk, pumpkin puree, remaining water, piloncillo, pumpkin pie spice, turmeric and salt. Whisk together until piloncillo is dissolved. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Slowly stir the masa harina mix into the saucepan, add the vanilla bean and bring back to a simmer, whisking occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and keep simmering until thickened to desired consistency, approximately 5-10 minutes.
Serve hot or warm in a large pumpkin punch bowl, using small hollowed pumpkins as mugs. Garnish with a cinnamon stick straw, star anise and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
Created in partnership with Northgate Market