Pumpkin Pie Bars
Forget the pie, these pumpkin squares look lovely served with a dollop of whipped cream and are a pleasant balance of sweet and spice.
- 11/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 11/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 15-ounce can (about 1 1/2 cups) unseasoned pumpkin purée
- 3 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon orange zest
- 11/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Whipped cream, for serving
- In a large bowl, combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mixture until there are no butter pieces larger than a pea.
- Drizzle 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water over the mixture, and stir until a shaggy ball of dough forms.
- Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic, and place it in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Line a 9" x 9" x 2" baking pan (or equivalent) with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a square that is slightly larger than the pan.
- Drape the dough into the pan, pressing the corners to reinforce them and crimping the edges
- Prick the base with a fork, then cover the dough with a piece of aluminum foil and fill with uncooked beans or pie weights.
- Bake the crust for 15 minutes, remove the beans and foil, and bake it for another 5 minutes.
- Remove crust from the oven and poke any air bubbles with a fork.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325°F, and set crust aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt.
- TIP: Use a microplane to grate whole nutmeg. The flavor will be brighter and much fresher than that of pre-ground nutmeg that's been sitting around in a jar.
- Stir in pumpkin purée, eggs, egg yolk, heavy cream, maple syrup, orange zest, and vanilla.
- Pour filling into partially baked crust, and bake for 1 hour.
- Cut into 9 squares and serve with lightly sweetened whipped cream.