• Leigh

Friendsgiving and Beyond: Cranberry-Pumpkin Pie Squares


To finish your "Friendsgiving" meal or for a nice treat during the holiday season, how about some tangy-sweet Cranberry-Pumpkin Pie Squares? The squares are similar to pumpkin pie but easier. They also taste better, and even guests who don't especially like pumpkin pie will go for these creamy squares. A brown sugar and oat crust forms a simple bottom layer for the squares. Sweet spices--cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and, pumpkin pie spice--and a dash of maple extract infuse the squares with plenty of flavor and counter the blandness of some pumpkin pies. A streusel topping that includes crunchy pecans and bright cranberries contrasts nicely with the creamy pumpkin filling, and the tartness of the cranberries keeps the squares from tasting too sweet. The squares can be made ahead, if you'd like, and are great with a dollop of low-fat whipped topping.

Cranberry-Pumpkin Pie Squares -- Makes an 8-inch square pan

Bottom Layer

1 cup of flour

1/2 cup of oats

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 cup of Smart Balance or butter

Filling

1 (14-15 ounce) can of pumpkin puree

1 can (12 ounces) of low-fat evaporated milk

2 eggs

2/3 cup of sugar

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of ginger

1/2 teaspoon of cloves

1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1/2 teaspoon of maple extract

Topping

1/4 cup of brown sugar

1/3 cup of oats (quick or regular)

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 cup of cranberries, washed and picked over

1 cup of chopped pecans

1 tablespoon of canola oil

1 tablespoon of butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat an 8-inch square pan with non-stick cooking spray or line the pan with foil and coat the foil with spray. For the bottom layer, in a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, and cinnamon. With a fork, cut in the Smart Balance or butter until the mixture is quite crumbly. Press the crumbs evenly into the prepared pan to form the bottom layer and bake it for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. While the bottom layer is baking, in the same bowl you used to mix the bottom layer, add all the filling ingredients and whisk them until smooth. Pour the filling ingredients over the baked bottom layer and return the pan to the oven, baking the filling for 45 minutes. While the filling is baking, combine the topping ingredients, mixing them well. Sprinkle the topping ingredients over the partially baked filling and bake the squares for another 15-20 minutes or until the filling is set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean (or with only streusel crumbs on it). Cool the squares and then refrigerate them until you're ready to serve them.

#pumpkin #cranberries #pecans

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