Make or buy a pumpkin pie if you must, but these layered creamy-crispy squares will most-likely be the pumpkin stars.
Make Ahead: Can be prepared 2 days in advance and refrigerated.
Happy Holidays to all the cooks and all their helpers.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Squares
Yield: 20-24 squares
Crust and Streusel:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup golden brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled butter (cut into about 10 slices)
1 cup pecan halves
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups canned pure pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 cups sour cream
4 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. For crust and streusel: Adjust oven rack to middle position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Pulsing on/off, blend flour, sugar, salt and butter in processor until coarse meal forms. Add pecans; pulse on/off until nuts are chopped. Add oats; using on/off, process until mixture is moistened but not clumping. Press 3 3/4 cups of crumb mixture onto bottom of prepared square pan. Transfer remaining mixture to rimmed baking sheet (do NOT wash processor). Bake crumbs on sheet until golden for 9 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes. Cool. Bake crust in dish until a light golden color, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven while preparing filling. Maintain oven temperature.
2. Filling: Blend all filling ingredients in same processor until smooth. Spread filling over warm crust; bake until set and dry in center, and beginning to rise at edges, about 30 to 35 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.
3. Topping: Whisk all topping ingredients in small bowl. Gently spread topping evenly over hot filling. Bake until topping sets and is barely bubbling at edges, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool completely on rack. Sprinkle crumbs over topping; gently press into topping. Cover and chill until cold, about 2 hours. Cut into 16 squares.
Source: adapted from “Bon Appetit Desserts” by Barbara Fairchild (Andrews McMeel, $40)