It is fall and that means Pumpkin season. I love the flavor of pumpkin. It is sweet and tart. These Pumpkin Layer Bars compliment the pumpkin with a cream layer and a graham cracker crust. I love the look of the layering and the contrast of the white versus the pumpkin color.
Pumpkin is very versatile. I have used pumpkin in a number of different ways. I have made a dessert bread, a scone, a risotto and corn bread. Each one of these recipes were really good. The dessert bread complimented the pumpkin with cream cheese and chocolate. The scone had great texture and was moist because of the puree. The risotto was rich. The corn bread was accented with honey. So many different ingredients that go well with the pumpkin and so many different ways to use the pumpkin.
Back to an explanation on the making of these pumpkin layer bars. These bars are at a moderate to difficult complexity level in terms of dessert making. I had not had luck in making desserts that required heating ingredients. With more experience and patience, and a good thermometer, you can succeed to with this dessert too. The cream layer and the pumpkin puree are heated. The cream layer is heated to thicken it up. The pumpkin layer is heated and combined with gelatin to help it solidify.
- 1-3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1-1/3 cups sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 5 eggs
- 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup cold water
- In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and 1/3 cup sugar; stir in butter.
- Press into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and 2/3 cup sugar until smooth.
- Beat in 2 eggs just until blended.
- Pour over crust.
- Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
- Separate remaining eggs and set whites aside.
- In a large saucepan, combine the yolks, pumpkin, brown sugar, milk, salt and cinnamon.
- Cook and stir over low heat for 10-12 minutes or until mixture is thickened and reaches 160°. Remove from the heat.
- In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand for 1 minute.
- Then, heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved.
- Stir into pumpkin mixture; set aside.
- In a large heavy saucepan, combine reserved egg whites and remaining sugar.
- With a portable mixer, beat on low speed for 1 minute.
- Continue beating over low heat until mixture reaches 160°, about 12 minutes.
- Remove from the heat; beat until stiff glossy peaks are formed.
- Fold into pumpkin mixture.
- Pour evenly over cream cheese layer.
- Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or until set. Garnish with whipped cream.
Graham cracker layer includes melted butter and brown sugar.
Heating the milk, whipping it and ultimately topping the graham cracker layer.
Pumpkin puree mixture and then cream folded in.
The pumpkin layered into dish and then shown after set in the fridge.
The final bar plated.