Pumpkin pie just leveled up.
Local businesses are liquifying the favorite fall dessert and adding creative takes on tradition to their menus.
This month the Spring House in Washington is debuting Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie milk, a bottle of silky sweetness with just enough spice that you feel like you’re drinking the seasonal staple.
The pumpkin pie milk was dreamed up during conversation.
“My mom said, ‘What about this?’ and I said, ‘OK, great, let’s do it,’” laughed Marcia Opp, who helps run the family-owned and operated farm. “That’s the great thing about having a family working together: There’s lots of good ideas coming at you all the time. We were like over the moon, so excited.”
In addition to its locally revered chocolate milk, the Spring House this summer began offering funky flavors like County Fair Cotton Candy, Orange Day Dream and Strawberry Fields For You.
“We like to enjoy one season at a time,” said Opp. “Once the fair is over, it’s time to think about fall. We have people calling every day, ‘Do you have any pumpkin pies left?’ We’re like, we should do a pumpkin kind of milk.”
While baking caramel apple pies recently, Opp decided the fall dessert would make a good milk flavor and added it, too, to the Spring House’s new milk menu.
Now, caramel apple pie and Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie milks are being bottled just in time for sipping around a campfire.
Also good for fireside sipping: For the first time in its four years of serving local favorites, The Washington Brewing Co. is pouring a pumpkin beer that’s sweet with a little spice, just like mom baked it.
“The people want it,” said John Burgess, who co-owns the brewery and the adjacent A&M Wine & Beer Supplies with his wife, Angela. “I’ve brewed it for myself before. It’s the first year I’ve done it for the brewery.”
Angela said the brewery’s Oktoberfest – an “easy-drinking marzen” that’s crisp and flavorful – is a fan favorite and she’s excited to add pumpkin to the menu.
“We’re releasing it in October because everyone else will probably be sold out,” said Angela, referring to larger breweries like Southern Tier, whose Pumpking beer sells out by the beginning of autumn. “That’s when you want a pumpkin beer, when it’s a little bit cooler, on a fall night.”
On unseasonably warm autumn afternoons, Scotty’s Ice Cream in Washington serves pumpkin ice cream milkshakes that give the traditional dessert a run for its money.
“We actually have people that will come in at the end of July and ask, ‘Do you have your fall flavors yet?’” said Kenzie Maltony, whose parents, Marcy and Ron Ranko, opened Scotty’s more than a decade ago. “People go crazy over these.”
Maltony said all Scotty’s ice cream is hand-dipped, and every flavor can be turned into a rich, creamy milkshake.
Other local ice cream shops, including 5 Kidz Kandy in Waynesburg and Sarris Candies in Canonsburg, scoop fall into a cone or cup all autumn long, and you can slurp pumpkin starting mid-October at Fresh From the Farm in McMurray.
“One of the unique things that we do is a pumpkin juice,” said Ankit Golay, who opened the health food store near Canonsburg Lake seven years ago. “I think people are intrigued by the fact that you can cold press pumpkin. You don’t really find cold pressed pumpkin juice.”
A pumpkin smoothie is available all fall long, and Golay’s homemade pumpkin soup will be available mid-month.
”It’s novelty,” said Golay.
For those done sipping, pair a pumpkin spice latte with a healthy fall-inspired lunch at Fruition Bowls and Brews in Waynesburg.
Along with its classic PSL, this month the eatery along West High Street is serving a pumpkin bowl starring organic pumpkin puree, homemade peanut butter and pumpkin granola, among other ingredients.
“Honestly, the base tastes like pumpkin cheesecake,” said Mabel Jetten, who co-owns the store with her brother, Leandro Culp, and Sara Bates. “It’s delightful.”