Ever since I was a kid, pumpkin pie has always been one of my all-time favorites. I used to look forward to this time of year simple because I knew that it meant pumpkin pie. I never outgrew that…instead, I started looking for ways to make it more versatile. It’s just so hard to sneak out of the kitchen holding an entire slice of pumpkin pie because getting a plate would make too much noise at 2AM (don’t judge me, I didn’t want to wake the baby). That’s how I came to make pumpkin pie bars.
These things are everything that I love about pumpkin pie all wrapped up in easy-to-carry squares. I can swipe one from the fridge without having to grab a plate, and since I make my own whipped cream, I can even top it with a really lightly sweetened cream to bring out the pumpkin flavor.
If you’ve never made pumpkin pie because you thought it was too complicated or you don’t like making pie crust, don’t sweat it. THIS recipe uses a quick-to-put-together shortbread crust that really works well with the pumpkin custard. If you don’t have the whole cabinet full of spices like I do, a single container of pumpkin pie spice will get the job done just as well – just follow the ratio on the container for a pumpkin pie. Oh, and one more tip – don’t be like me and end up fighting to get your very first batch out of the pan. Line it with parchment paper or aluminum foil that you can just lift out with the whole shooting match inside. It’s the easiest way to get it out of the pan so you can cut it (and, most importantly, dig into it).
Now what are you waiting for? Seriously, this recipe is EVERYTHING that’s yummy about the pumpkin craze of fall – go for it!
- 1 stick salted butter, softened
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 30 ounces of solid packed canned pumpkin
- 2 12-ounce cans evaporated milk
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground clove
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cream together the butter and sugar.
- Mix in the egg yolk, salt, vanilla and cinnamon.
- Add flour and mix until the mixture is crumbly.
- Press the mixture into a 13x9 pan.
- Put the pan in the freezer while you preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Bake the crust for about 20 minutes, rotating halfway. It should be lightly golden when done.
- Place the pan on a wire rack to cool while you make the pumpkin mixture.
- Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.
- Blend all of the ingredients together in a large bowl until well combined.
- Pour over the top of the prepared shortbread crust.
- Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
- Cool for 20 minutes.
- Cut into bars, top with whipped cream.