Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Cranberry Pumpkin Pie Bars

I've mentioned before that I've challenged myself to create a new variation on pumpkin pie every year for Thanksgiving. My pie mission has already been accomplished for this year via this Magic Pumpkin Cake recipe that I shared earlier this month... but I'm an overachiever when it comes to baked goods, so here's another twist on pumpkin pie:

Cranberry Pumpkin Pie Bars
Adapted from A Beautiful Mess

9 oz. fresh cranberries
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 can pumpkin puree
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup pure maple syrup or honey
1 egg
a splash of cream or milk
1 1/2 sticks cold butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat)
2 tablespoons cream (I used eggnog!) or cold water

For the pumpkin filling: In a medium bowl, mix pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, maple or honey, egg, and cream or milk and set aside. Prep the crust: Cut your sticks of cold butter into cubes and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add powdered sugar and flour, and mix with your hands until the dough forms small crumbs. If you don't want to use your hands (it can be messy!), you can use a pastry cutting tool or a food processor. Mix in the cream or water to form a moist ball of dough. If the dough is too dry, add more cream or water. Divide the dough in half. Line a square baking pan with parchment paper and press half of the dough evenly into the baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. While the crust bakes, make your cranberry filling: combine the cranberries, coconut sugar, vanilla bean paste and lemon juice in a large pot with a lid. Cook on low heat with the lid on for about 5 minutes until the berries begin to soften and release their juices. If the sauce has already thickened, go ahead and remove from heat. If not, continue to cook for an additional 3-4 minutes so that some of the juice begins to evaporate. To assemble: pour the pumpkin filling over the crust that you just baked for 10 minutes. Dollop cranberry randomly over the top of the pumpkin filling. Now take the remaining pie crust that you divided earlier and crumble small pieces over to top to create your crumb topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the crumb topping begins to brown. Let sit on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting.

This dessert is great served with homemade coconut cream! Would also be great with whipped cream or ice cream.

Happy Holidays!


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