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!
- 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.