Allspice got its name from the English who thought it had a flavor combination of cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. Allspice, also called Jamaica pepper, pepper, myrtle pepper, pimento, Turkish Yenibahar, English pepper or newspice, is the dried unripe fruit (berries used as a spice) of Pimenta dioica, a midcanopy tree native to the Greater Antilles, southern Mexico, and Central America, now cultivated in many warm parts of the world.
Allspice features in many curries but main use is in ketchup, preserves and relishes. Around the world Allspice is used in cakes, pies, canned meats, and stews. It also adds a spicy note to mulled wine.
Allspice is one of the most important ingredients of Caribbean cuisine. It is used in Caribbean jerk seasoning (the wood is used to smoke jerk in Jamaica, although the spice is a good substitute), in moles, and in pickling; it is also an ingredient in commercial sausage preparations and curry powder. Allspice is also indispensable in Middle Eastern cuisine, particularly in the Levant, where it is used to flavor a variety of stews and meat dishes. In Palestine cuisine, for example, many main dishes call for allspice as the sole spice added for flavouring. In the U.S., it is used mostly in desserts. Allspice is commonly used in Great Britain, and appears in many dishes, including cakes.
In Greek cooking, allspice is used in stews, tomato sauces for pasta, red sauces, and marinades for game, meats, and fish. Whole dried berry is an essential ingredient in pickling spices and is often used in preparing meats and fish. Use sparingly; the taste can become overwhelming.
Allspice Roasted Chicken
- 1 teaspoon allspice, ground
- 1 large lemon, halved
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
- 12 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin, ground
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 (6 lb) roasting chicken
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Rinse chicken and pat dry.
- Place chicken on rack in large roasting pan.
- In a small bowl, stir oil, cumin, garlic, onion, paprika, salt, pepper, and allspice to form a paste.
- Rub spice paste all over chicken.
- Roast chicken for 1 hour.
- Squeeze lemon juice from the halves over chicken, then place them inside main cavity.
- Continue roasting until chicken is cooked through, approximately 1 more hour. (A thermometer inserted into meatiest part of the thigh should register 175 degrees F.)
- Transfer to platter and permit to cool for 15 minutes prior to serving.
Allspice Mixed Veggies
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice, ground
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/2" slices and halved
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
- 1/2 lb string beans, trimmed
- 1/4 head cabbage, cut into 2" pieces
- sesame seeds
- soy sauce
- Add allspice to chicken stock.
- Heat chicken stock in a pot.
- Fit a steamer basket into the pot.
- Add vegetables and bring the stock to a boil on med-high heat.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, cook for 5 minutes.
- Remove the basket and serve.
- Add soy sauce to taste.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Allspice Pumpkin Pie
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 (9") unbaked pie crust
- 2 eggs
- 1 2/3 cups evaporated milk
- 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
- Whipped cream (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
- Combine pumpkin puree, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour batter into the prepared unbaked pie crust.
- Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes.
- Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Bake for approximately another 40 minutes, until the pie is firm.
- Once cool, serve with whipped cream if desired.