Pumpkin Squares

Pumpkin pie filling atop a flaky biscuit crust is so homey and appealing. I prefer these creamy little squares to a traditional pumpkin pie. Bite-sized, rich, and spicy, these are perfect with a hot cup of tea as a cozy treat. Easier to make than a pie, this is the perfect stepping stone to pie-making.

Makes 12 to 16 bars

Ingredient List: 

Biscuit Crust
1½ cups whole wheat pastry or sprouted wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch sea salt
¼ cup avocado or extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
¼ to ½ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk

Pumpkin Filling
2 cups unsweetened pureed butternut squash or sugar pumpkin
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk 
¼ cup brown rice syrup
2 tablespoons agar flakes
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch sea salt
2 tablespoons kuzu/arrowroot, dissolved in ¼ cup cold water

Pecan Topping
¼ cup brown rice syrup
1 cup coarsely minced pecan pieces

Step By Step Instructions: 

Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350F (1`75C). Lightly oil a 9- or 10-inch square baking dish.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, oil, and coconut sugar in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse 40 to 50 times or until texture of wet sand. Slowly add “milk” through the feed tube, and pulse until mixture gathers into a ball. Press dough evenly into prepared dish.

Bake 12 minutes. Set aside, leaving oven on.

Make the filling: Combine all ingredients except kuzu/arrowroot mixture in a saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until agar dissolves, 15 to20 minutes. Stir in kuzu/arrowroot mixture and cook. Stirring, until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes. Spoon filling evenly over partially baked crust.

Make the topping: Cook rice syrup over high heat until it foams. Stir in pecan pieces and spoon over filling.

Bake the squares: Bake for 30 minutes, or until edges of filling are set. The center will still be soft but will set as it cools. Cool completely before cutting into bars.