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A New Take on Pumpkin

Try square instead of pie-shaped this year.

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For many families, Thanksgiving dinner wouldn’t be complete without a slice of pumpkin pie topped with a dollop of whipped cream. For a new twist on an old tradition, try mixing things up this year with a batch of these Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Pie Squares from Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless by Raquel Pelzel. With a tasty graham cracker crust and sweet pumpkin filling, these decadent squares will hit the spot.

Dulce de Leche Pumpkin Pie Squares

Makes 28 bars

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Ingredients

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 box (14.4 ounces) graham crackers
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
1½ cups packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree (not canned pumpkin pie mix)
11/3 cups buttermilk
4 large eggs
1½ cups (about 14 ounces) dulce de leche, homemade (see below) or store-bought
Whipped cream (for serving)

Directions

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10 x 16-inch rimmed baking sheet with the tablespoon of room-temperature butter and set aside.

2. Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and process into fine crumbs. Add ¼ teaspoon salt, pulse 2 times, and add the melted butter. Pulse until the mixture is well combined and holds together when pressed, about 8 pulses (1 second each). Spread the crumbs on the prepared baking sheet and, with the bottom of a measuring cup, press them to the edges of the pan in a solid, even layer. (Don’t worry about working the crumbs up the sides of the pan.) Bake the crust until it feels firm and somewhat dry on the surface, about 8 minutes.

3. Wipe out the food processor with a damp paper towel. To the processor, add the brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt and process until smooth. Add the pumpkin, buttermilk, and eggs and process until well combined.

4. With a butter knife or an offset spatula, evenly spread the dulce de leche over the crust. Pour the pumpkin filling over the top, shaking the pan to disperse it evenly.

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5. Bake the squares until the center jiggles only slightly when tapped, about 30 minutes. Cool completely before slicing into 28 bars. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream. The bars will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. (The crust will become softer the longer the bars are stored in the fridge.)

“Homemade” Dulce de Leche

It’s incredibly easy to make your own dulce de leche. Simply peel the label from an unopened 14-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk and place the can in a pot of simmering water. Make sure the can is completely covered by water to a depth of 1 to 2 inches. Gently simmer for 2 hours—checking occasionally to make sure the can is still submerged and adding water if needed. Use tongs to flip the can and simmer for 1 1/2 hours more. Remove the can from the water and set aside to cool completely before opening and using.

Note: Buy the cans of sweetened condensed milk that do not have the peel-away lid—apparently these can explode during cooking (though it has never—thankfully—happened to me!)

Excerpted from Sheet Pan Suppers Meatless by Raquel Pelzel (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2017.

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