Now that September is here, I’m officially declaring it pumpkin season.
Even though I bake with pumpkin a LOT during the fall months, making countless batches of pumpkin muffins, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin you name it, it’s been years since I actually baked a pumpkin pie. You know, the original pumpkin treat which began all the pumpkin hype. The pumpkin pie is like the #PSL’s great-great grandma.
The thing is, pumpkin pie seems to have only one of the year when it seems appropriate, and that’s Thanksgiving. I wanted to make something that was pumpkin pie-like but a little more acceptable all fall long. That basically meant that I made pumpkin pie into a bar form.
Not only do these bars fit in any day of the pumpkin season, but they also seem less fancy and much easier than pie. To me, it’s a relief to not have to mess with making the pie crust edge pretty. I suppose my lack of trying isn’t doing anything to refine my pie crust skills, but if there’s a way to get around it, count me in. So, bars it is!
The crust of these pumpkin pie bars is an all butter pie crust, keeping them essentially identical to a traditional pumpkin pie. To jazz them up a bit, I made a lightly sweetened maple whipped cream topping that complemented the pumpkin spices perfectly.
Speaking of those pumpkin spices, I have to say that in the two times that I tested these bars, the spices are what I played around with. The first time I used a jar of pumpkin pie spice, and I just wasn’t blown away by the flavor. It made me think that maybe that’s why some people don’t like pumpkin pie – it lacks flavor. The second time I used my own combination of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, and the results were much better.
The second time around I also set aside about ½ cup of the crust dough and added little leaf and pumpkin cutouts to the edges. It was a cute little touch that added a little fall flair, but definitely not necessary.
Now, let the pumpkin baking commence!