I’m still hooked on the pumpkin and oats combination. Or maybe it’s just that I’m fixated on finding more ways to use tinned pumpkin than in pumpkin pie (which I happen to adore all of a sudden). These lovely mini cakes kick started my pumpkin phase and even though last weeks pumpkin oat crunch sticks didn’t turn out as originally planned- they made a lovely granola-esque topping for my yogurt.
This weekend I was back trying to create a pumpkin pie-like filling to go between a buttery sweet oat sandwich. Something that you can eat with your hands with a cup of tea or serve immersed in a bowl custard for pudding. The base and the topping came from Delia’s How to Cook Book Two– she uses it in her recipe for Plum cinnamon oat slices, which are quite wonderful in their own right. It is a sweet and buttery oat mixture, which lends itself well to a less sweet filling and the whole wheat flour provides a wholesome nuttiness to the flavour. I used the same method only to the topping I added chopped pecan nuts for a little texture and I crumbled over the topping (rather like a coffee crumb cake topping) rather than pressing it down, which would have resulted in the topping sinking into the pumpkin filling rather than providing a crisp outerlayer. Although the downside of a cumbly topping is that the evidence will undoubtedly end up sprinkled down your jumper- the price one pays for delicacy.
The other thing that I changed was that I baked the base before adding the topping. On most accounts, I am not an advoate for baking that requires so much patience as this but by the time that you’ve finished mixing together the filling ingredients it will be ready to come out of the oven. Besides, it’s worth it, for without which it will result in a soggy bottom- of which marathon training in the winter has taught me is best to avoid when at all possible.
And I promise, promise, promise that next week I will give you a week from pumpkins.
Squidgy & crisp pumpkin oat bars
I couldn’t decide what to call these because their neither completely squidgy nor completely crisp. What I was able to decide was that they were quite delicious at all times of the day- especially warmed up in a pool of steaming custard.
Diet Facts: whole wheat flour, oats and pumpkin sounds healthy to me
For the crust and topping:
55g/ 1/4 cup light brown soft sugar
55g/ 1/4 cup sugar
225g/8 oz butter
150g/ 1 cup + 2/3 cup porridge oats
275g/ 2 cups + 2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
55g/ 1/2 cup pecan nuts, chopped
For the filling:
400g tin pumpkin puree
55g/ 1/4 cup crème fraîche
55g/ 1/4 cup light brown soft sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/ Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Line a 25.5 x 15 cm (10 x 6 inch) baking tray with greaseproof paper that comes up above the tin on opposing sides.
2/ Mix together the flour, oats and salt in a large bowl. Melt the butter and sugar together in a small saucepan, stirring and then mix it into the dry ingredients- you may need to use your hands. Split the mixture in half.
3/ Press half of the mixture evenly into the base of your prepared tin. Place in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes or until crisp and lightly golden. Then turn the oven down to 190C/ 375F/ Gas 5. Meanwhile, stir your chopped pecans into the remaining crumb mixture and set aside.
4/ In a separate bowl mix together all of the filling ingredients. Once the base has cooked pour over the filling and spread evenly over the top. Sprinkle over your remaining crumb mixture, allowing it to form clumps and very gently press it into the filling. If you press to hard the filling will seep through the top- the idea is to press just enough so that it binds. Place back into the oven and cook for a further 25 minutes, or until crisp and golden on top. Once cool store in an airtight container in the fridge.