My love for pumpkin goes back to my childhood. Perhaps it’s because I was born in November? I’m not sure. I only remember thinking growing up how awesome it was to have pumpkin pie as my birthday cake and of course, egg nog! My friends didn’t think the same way I did.
As a teenager my love for pumpkin pie actually grew. I spent an entire year simply eating pumpkin pie. My Oma would bake them in batches and then freeze them. First thing in the morning I would go in the freezer and get one out, pop it in the microwave to heat it up and then have my “meal” for the day. I was so happy. My family didn’t really care, as they figured I was getting enough nutrients from all the “vegetables” I was eating. My Oma even a few times put cottage cheese in her recipe. That took a while for me to get used to.
Now I have my own pumpkin eaters. They don’t even use a plate, they just take a slice of pie and eat it with their hands. I believe we only go a few weeks out of the year without a pumpkin pie or pumpkin chocolate chip loaf in the fridge.
Then I found a wonderful recipe for Pumpkin Butter. I make this a couple times a year and then freeze it in smaller containers for later use, because I can never use it fast enough before it goes bad.
That’s where Pumpkin Butter Squares come in, I wanted to make a new batch of pumpkin butter, but I needed to use up the old stuff first. I didn’t have any pie crusts (I figure why make it yourself when the frozen ones you can buy taste pretty darn good and well, less mess) to make a traditional pumpkin pie with the pumpkin butter so squares it was.
First is to preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare your pan (9X9X3 square pan) by lining it with parchment paper and then spraying with baking spray.
Then comes the graham cracker crust. I make this in a slightly larger batch. It needs to go on the bottom and 1/4 of it needs to be sprinkled on top. (A ginger snap crust would be amazing for this, but I didn’t have on hand) Bake this for 15 minutes until golden brown.
Then comes the pumpkin butter. (I let mine defrost over night in the fridge). Mix this with the eggs and evaporated milk. Pour this over the graham cracker crust.
Let it bake for about 10 minutes to start to set up and then sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of graham cracker crumb base. If you sprinkle it on right away, it will sink into the pumpkin mixture. (This is fine if that’s what you want).
Return to the oven and continue to bake for 25 to 35 minutes longer (depending on how your oven cooks). Let it cool completely and then place in the fridge overnight to firm up so you are able to cut easily into squares. When removing from the pan, this is where the double lining of parchment paper comes in handy. Just lift out and cut into squares.
These never last very long in my house. I’m lucky if I get even one. I can’t complain though, I figure at least my picky eaters are getting some “vegetables” in them.
Have fun with these. Add chocolate chips, pecans (oh, this would be awesome but the picky eaters would never eat it then) or swirl it with a simple cheesecake batter (1 pkg. cream cheese, 1 egg, 1/3 cup sugar and a splash of vanilla).
Pumpkin Butter Squares (Makes 1 – 9×9 pan)
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
2 cups Pumpkin Butter (homemade or store bought)
1 cup evaporated milk
Preheat oven to 350°F
Prepare baking pan by lining with parchment paper. (If you line the pan crosswise with two sheets of parchment paper and leave “handles” hanging over the sides it makes it very easy to lift out of the pan)
Mix together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar until everything is completed combined. Remove 1/2 cup of the mixture and set aside for the topping. Spread the remaining graham cracker mixture into the bottom of the pan and press down firmly. Bake for 15 minutes, until the edges are starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
Mix together the pumpkin butter, eggs and evaporated milk until well combined and pour over cooled crust.
Place in the oven for 10 minutes to let the filling start to set. Quickly sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs on top and return to the oven for another 25 to 35 minutes. (To check if it is set, put a knife in the centre and if it comes out clean, it is set).
Let cool until room temperature and the place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to overnight to chill completely. Remove from the pan and cut into squares. This will make 16 big squares or 32 smaller rectangles.