Pumpkin Spiced Madeleines

Pumpkin Spiced Madeleines Image

This weekend I took a friend from the states back to the airport to bid our farewells. I fought back tears as she disappeared beyond security before I turned to face the chilling rain that has settled over Paris. It had been almost a year since we’d last connected yet everything seemed to pick up right where we’d left off, only this time it was espresso instead of coffee, and fresh croissants instead of scones. After a week of belly-aching laughter and heart-to-hearts, neither of us were very eager to say goodbye.

While she was here I shared with her many of my favorite places and things to do in Paris and she confirmed that French life is rubbing off on me more than I had realized. I won’t ever know what it’s like to “feel French” but I do feel somehow less American – a hodgepodge of influences bundled up into what has become me. But no matter how long I am away from my original country, there is a familiar craving that accompanies the golden leaves and dark grey skies which reminds me I’ll always be an American at heart, if not by stomach. While I may refuse to walk around Paris with a paper cup of coffee, I will always love just about everything pumpkin from late September to December.

Pumpkin was one of the first traditionally American flavors I began to miss while adjusting to France (right after potato and eggs for breakfast). It quickly became as valuable as gold and if any of the other students studying abroad received some from home, it was closely guarded, rarely shared and highly coveted. The craving has only slightly lessened as I prepare for my fourth Thanksgiving away from the States, though it is unclear if this is because I’ve been away for so long or because I have a “Y2K-ready” stash of pumpkin purée under lock and key (don’t even think about crossing me!).

With my friend on her way, I wanted to make her a special treat – something a little Frenchie to welcome her to Paris. It was also when, like today, Paris was damp with rain not to mention that irksome chill that sets into your bones (scarves, mittens and hats have come out of hiding). And this time of year there is only one thing that can make this type of weather seem like the best day on earth – and that’s pumpkin. So I set out creating my own recipe for Pumpkin Spiced Madeleines (shockingly there isn’t much online). What a happy marriage between my Frenchness and my Americanness! The Madeleines came out so delicious that I decided to share my Pumpkin Spiced Madeleine recipe as well as how to adapt it to make Cinnamon Madeleines with Maple Glaze. And just so we’re clear – I’m no professional chef and I’m still going to play with the recipe before I’m 100% happy with it. But the results were still delicious and I think you’ll enjoy!

Glazed Pumpkin Spiced Madeleines and Cinnamon Maple Madeleines

Glazed Pumpkin Spiced Madeleines and Cinnamon Maple Madeleines

Glazed Pumpkin Spiced Madeleines and Cinnamon Maple Madeleines

Glazed Pumpkin Spiced Madeleines and Cinnamon Maple Madeleines

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Glazed Pumpkin Spiced Madeleines and Cinnamon Maple Madeleines

Funny I had all of the rarest ingredients but no powdered sugar (sucre glace) which is not uncommon in France – just uncommon enough that three Monoprix and a few Franprix didn’t have any. The caramel glaze pictured here is made with sugar that is melted down in boiling water with pumpkin spice for the Pumpkin Spiced Madeleines and maple syrup (with less sugar unless using maple extract) for the Cinnamon Madeleines – though for the recipe card I added the recipe for a spiced powdered sugar glaze. To make the Cinnamon Madeleines, do not include the pumpkin purée and substitute the Pumpkin Spice with cinnamon. You’ll also notice many recipes with Baking Powder which I have omitted. In my opinion it’s not necessary. After all I’m sure the French did fine without when they came up with Madeleines purportedly in the 18th century.

Where to find pumpkin in Paris

If in Paris, you can find the maple syrup, sucre glace and even pumpkin purée at the cheapest prices I’ve found in Paris at G. Detou on Rue Tiquetonne. If not, check La Grande Epicerie de Paris. Picard also sells frozen pumpkin purée however when I used it to make pumpkin muffins they turned out incredibly heavy and moist. For the Madeleine pans, I recommend E. Dehillerin on Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

19 comments… add one

  1. Murissa @TheWanderfullTraveler October 9, 2012, 9:22 pm

    Very impressed! You can cook/bake and even write out the recipes in true writerly fashion.
    Maybe a book is in the future called American at Heart, French by Stomach? Loved that line!
    I am just in a food writing course right now and we are at that point in the semester that we explore writing recipes and introductions to the recipes. Not something that is my forte, I am much more interested in the memoir and fiction aspect but if you’d like I’ll send the notes over to you. Although it doesn’t seem like you need them at all!

    Well done and sounds like a lovely time! I too love pumpkin and if you ever venture to Italy you should go to Bologna for their specialty (besides bolognese sauce) pumpkin filled tortellini or ravioli. One of the best meals I’ve ever had!

    Reply
    1. Stephanie October 9, 2012, 9:27 pm

      I would love your notes! That must be an awesome course! I know I could use some pointers – I’m in no way an expert at it and there is always room for improvement. Pumpkin filled ravioli or tortellini would be AMAZING! I keep secretly wishing I’ll find them here – there is this little Italian shop near my work that has the cutest old Italian lady that cooks up all of these amazing dishes – I keep checking to see if pumpkin has found its way to her kitchen! So far no luck!

      Oh please send me your notes! I’d love to learn more about it!

      Reply
  2. Laetitia October 9, 2012, 10:01 pm

    Those madeleines look so delicious ! Thanks for the recipe, I’m definitely going to try it ;)

    As for the tortelli di zucca (filled with pumpkin), I’ve never found any in Paris either but the best I’ve tasted were in Reggio Emilia so if you ever get there by train, that’s a place not to be missed.

    Reply
    1. Stephanie October 10, 2012, 6:11 am

      How fun! Thanks Laetitia, I’ll have to remember that when I plan a trip to Italy! Hope you enjoy the recipe!! :)

      Reply
  3. Edna October 10, 2012, 6:22 am

    Those look delicious! This year will be my fourth fall spent outside the US and I’m missing pumpkin terribly. The first three years were fine because I was in Asia, so I didn’t expect to find pumpkin anyway, but Paris feels much more similar to the US so it seems weird now to go through fall without finding pumpkin drinks and pastries everywhere!

    Reply
    1. Stephanie October 10, 2012, 12:10 pm

      I think no matter where I am in the world I’ll crave pumpkin. It’s hard to explain but it doesn’t help that the more challenging it is to find the more I want it. I hope you find your fix! :)

      Reply
  4. Lindsey October 10, 2012, 6:39 am

    YES YES YES! Definitely trying these :) Pumpkin has the same effect on me!

    Reply
    1. Stephanie October 10, 2012, 12:10 pm

      I’m glad someone understands ;)

      Reply
  5. Auscanucksarah October 10, 2012, 9:46 am

    Ummmmmm YUM!!!! I also adore pumpkin and almost wish I liked coffee so I could have pumpkin lattes! In Australia, pumpkin tends to be more savoury but I just made pumpkin pie bars so I’ll post about it soon. I had to make my own pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice but delicious! It was just Thanksgiving back home this past weekend so I’m missing pumpkin very much right now! These look amazing and I’m dying to get a madeleine tray and try these!

    Reply
    1. Stephanie October 10, 2012, 12:12 pm

      Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you had a wonderful time celebrating! When I had Thanksgiving in Provence two years ago, I had to make each course myself from scratch with no fancy cooking appliances – it was all done by hand. The eight staple dishes from Thanksgivings from home took me two days! Pumpkin was the only thing I couldn’t find…

      Reply
  6. Susan October 10, 2012, 12:25 pm

    YUM YUM YUM!!

    Reply
    1. Stephanie October 11, 2012, 2:46 pm

      :) My thoughts exactly

      Reply
  7. Ann Mah October 10, 2012, 3:16 pm

    Yum! It’s funny, now that I’m back in the States, I was looking at an ad for a pumpkin latte in a certain global coffee chain and thinking that my French friends would HATE it — the cinnamon, the horror, the horror! But these pretty little tea cakes seem to perfectly bridge the two cultures. I can’t wait to try them.

    Reply
    1. Stephanie October 11, 2012, 2:48 pm

      I didn’t realize the French didn’t like cinnamon! Although I noticed they have a thing with sweet pumpkin recipes… and carrot cake (I’m taking (ie dragging) my French friends to try some later this month). I hope they don’t think I completely butchered their little cakes…

      Reply
  8. Jared October 11, 2012, 2:24 pm

    I love this blog. It’s so fun. And the design? It’s beautiful.

    Reply
    1. Stephanie October 11, 2012, 2:49 pm

      Thank you, brother!

      Reply
  9. Sandra November 21, 2012, 11:26 pm

    Hi, I just came across your madeleine recipe and I can’t wait to make those. I am actually French (but Canadian, not from France) and now live in the US, so I know what you mean adding some frenchness and americanness! :)

    Btw do you know how many madeleines this recipe makes?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  10. Not Just Another Milla December 11, 2012, 10:19 am

    How did I miss this? Please make these for me one day – they sounds amazing!

    Reply
    1. Stephanie December 17, 2012, 11:36 am

      Thanks Milla! Hope you try them :)

      Reply

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