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One of my favourite vegetables, pumpkin, is more of a savoury food in Australia whereas in Canada, it comes in cans and is eaten in pie form, especially around holidays. At work, we do a morning tea/staff meeting (aka an excuse to eat and gossip) every Friday and we alternate who cooks. Last week was my turn and I thought, in honour of Thanksgiving last week, I would introduce the Aussies to pumpkin pie-I decided to make pumpkin pie bars from Kraft Canada (or slice as they call it down under). The result was delicious and very well received!

Pumpkin ready to be roasted

Remaining ingredients assemble!

Pureed pumpkin…no such thing as canned pumpkin here!

The finished product

All packed up to take to work

Ingredient List:

  • 500g pumpkin, sliced up and seeds removed (I used butternut)
  • 1 and 1/3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
  • 1 pack (250g) cream cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice OR 1 tsp cinnamon + 1 tsp nutmeg + 1 tsp allspice combined

Putting it all together:

*Heat oven to 350°F/170°C

*Place the sliced pumpkin into a baking tray and roast for 45-50 minutes, or until the flesh is soft. Let cool.

*Once cooled, remove skin and place into food processor. Gradually adding tablespoons of water as necessary, puree until smooth.

*Line a 13 x 9 inch pan with foil and ensure the ends hang over the side. Grease foil.

*Mix flour, 1/4 cup sugar and brown sugar in a medium sized bowl. Cut in slices of butter and mix until mix resembles crumbs. I did this by hand but you can use a blender.

*Mix in oats and nuts. Optional step at this stage: add in dash of spices to flavour the base.

*Reserve 1 cup of mix and press remaining amount into pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

*Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, remaining sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree and spices until well blended. Again I did this by hand because I ain’t got no fancy schmancy mixers!

*Pour mixture over baked crust and sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture.

*Bake for 25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes then use excess foil to lift out of pan and cool on a wire rack. Cool completely and slice into bars.

Enjoy! Mine tasted exactly like pumpkin pie so I was pretty happy. My co-workers, having never had pumpkin pie before, were also pretty happy with the end result.