Preliminary note: I in no way condone J.K. Rowling or her hurtful anti-trans sentiments. I believe in the power of stories and that books belong to their community of readers. I have made a commitment never to purchase merchandise, materials, or access to experiences (like Harry Potter World) that may financially benefit J.K. Rowling in anyway.
One of my favorite Harry Potter-inspired recipes I’ve ever made is pumpkin juice. I know! It’s not one of the all-stars that comes to mind when you think of wizarding treats, but it always stuck out to me. In the books, it was commonplace—it was on the table of every meal and served ice cold, similar to how we drink apple or orange juice. But how in the world is it even made? Can you actually juice a pumpkin?
Okay, I didn’t even try to juice a pumpkin. As I discussed in the pumpkin pasties post, I don’t really think fresh pumpkin is the way to go when we’re looking for concentrated flavor. So I turned again to canned pumpkin puree… plus a secret ingredient that not only bumps up the color but also adds earthy sweetness. Can you guess it? It’s carrot juice! Don’t knock it till you try it. Even the pre-bottled stuff from the cooler of the produce section adds a vegetal freshness that significantly brightens up the canned puree and complements the squash flavors.
The carrot and pumpkin, combined with apple cider, get all mingled and infused as it sits together in the fridge for a few days. Then, unless you like a thick drink, it’s a quick strain before you can pour your very own goblet of bright orange pumpkin juice.
For me, this version is a surprisingly perfect match for what I’ve always imagined. I’m truly shocked that no other recipes I’ve seen online use carrot juice. Most seemed to be “copycats” for the Universal version, which uses apple juice, apricot puree, sugar, and spice flavorings. Since the books describe pumpkin juice as a year-round drink, I forewent adding any autumnal spices like cinnamon and allspice. If you want those flavors, use a spiced cider or sprinkle in a pumpkin pie spice blend to taste at the beginning so that it gets nice and infused too.
Pumpkin Juice Recipe
Makes about 4 cups (approximately 5 to 6 servings)
- 2 1/2 cups apple cider
- 1 1/2 cup carrot juice
- 3/4 to 1 cup canned pumpkin puree*
- Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and stir to incorporate. Refrigerate overnight or up to 4 days to infuse juice with pumpkin flavor.
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve or a strainer lined with cheesecloth. Pour into a clean pitcher or bottle and chill until ready to serve. Juice will settle after sitting, so shake or stir before pouring.
*There’s about 1 3/4 cup pumpkin puree in a 15 oz. can of pumpkin puree. This recipe, along with Curried & Sweet Pumpkin Pasties, uses up a whole can. If you don’t want to make pasties (I get it), you can double this recipe or use the remaining in one of these great suggestions from The Kitchn.