Monday, November 15, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake Squares

 Thanks to fellow blogger and tweeter janaemonir.   Check out her beautiful blog  for more delicious recipes.


Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Squares,     What’s not to love?  An oaty, nutty crust, a creamy center that tastes pretty much like pumpkin pie, a slick of sweetened sour cream on top for good measure, and the whole thing capped by more of the oaty, nutty crust for extra crunch.  Basically, what you see is what you get.


  These squares won’t pull any nonsense, and would be an excellent alternative to a traditional pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, if you are looking to shake things up a bit.  They’re also great when hosting a meal because you can do them up to two days before.  The directions are pretty straight-forward .


Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Squares
adapted from Bon Appétit

A few things:  These are messy.  When you cut them the crumble topping will go everywhere.  The first one you take out of the pan will be a mess.  You might have to spoon some of the topping back onto the squares.  Therefore, if you are making these for ‘company’, you might want to cut them in the kitchen where nobody can see you and serve them arranged on a platter.  Cut them with a very sharp knife, wiping it down with a damp paper towel every now and then so you get nice, clean slices.  Secondly, I have reduced the baking time for the crust because the original time (30 minutes) resulted in a very tough crust that was difficult to cut through.

Also, please note that while this recipe comes together quickly, it needs about 2 hours cooling on a rack, and at least two hours chilling in the fridge, so make sure to plan ahead.  (Again, great for do-ahead meals.)


1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, diced
1 cup pecan halves, walnuts, or almonds (you can mix them, too.  I used pecans and walnuts.)
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup sour cream
2½ tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Generously butter 9x9x2-inch metal baking pan.  Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment or foil.  In a food processor, pulse the first 4 ingredients until coarse meal forms.  Add nuts; pulse until nuts are chopped. Add oats; pulse again until mixture is moistened but not clumping.  Press 3 1/2 cups crumbs (about 2/3 of the mixture) onto bottom of prepared square pan (do not clean processor).  Transfer remaining crumbs to lined baking sheet.  Set baking sheet aside.  Bake the crust (in the pan) until lightly golden, about 20 minutes.  Maintain oven temperature.

For filling:
While crust is baking, blend all filling ingredients in same processor until smooth.   When crust is done baking, spread filling over warm crust; bake until set, dry in center, and beginning to rise at edges, about 20 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.

For topping:
Mix all ingredients in small bowl.  Spread evenly over hot, baked, filling.  Bake until topping sets and bubbles at edges, about 5-10 minutes. Set on a rack to cool completely (in the pan).  With the oven still on, bake the crumbs you had set aside at the beginning, about 12 minutes, stirring halfway through.  Cool crumbs.  When the pan has cooled completely (this will take a few hours), sprinkle the crumbs on top, gently press into topping.  Cover; chill until cold, about 2 hours.

Do ahead Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Cut into 16 squares.

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