I have been thinking about making pumpkin pie and bringing it to work. I like bringing food into work because I love to bake and sharing what I make means Ryan and I won’t gorge too much on sweets. But one of the things I like best about living here (and travel in general) is trying and sharing new foods.
Since starting work, I have tried various kinds of cookies (biscuits, if I want to be proper about it) and a mince pie, which is a sweet pie that Santa gets when he comes with presents. I’ve brought in s’mores flavored candy corn – and practically no one had ever had candy corn or a s’more. And to digress for a second, it seems sad to me that s’mores aren’t a thing here. I think I should start a food truck that makes s’mores with different chocolates, different graham crackers, and maybe add-ins like nutella and bananas. Sounds delicious right? If you still don’t know what a s’more is, read about it here.
But back to pumpkin pie. From what I can tell, pumpkin pie isn’t really popular here. This is evidenced by the fact that nothing in the grocery store is pumpkin flavored whereas in the US everything is pumpkin flavored this time of year. Also, I introduced pumpkin pie to two people here, with, what I think was, great success. Recently Ryan and I were invited to an Italian lunch at our friends Alessia and Raffaello’s flat. Alessia made an amazing pasta, a meat dish, a cheese plate, potatoes, tomatoes and finished with esperesso. It was a delicious feast and Ryan and I loved trying some new Italian foods. For dessert, I brought a pumpkin cream cheese pie and it was the first time they had something like it. So I thought, maybe I should introduce more people to pumpkin pie and thereby become an ambassador for American sweets. And doesn’t that sound like an awesome job? Ambassador for American Sweets in the UK. I like it.
Writing all of this, it’s clear to me that I over think pie. And maybe in general, think about pie too much (if that’s possible). But, for perfect shareability, I thought making pumpkin pie bars would be the best way to go. Bars mean more pieces, no need for plates or utensils, and you can have as big or small a slice as you like – the perfect solution for sharing with a bunch of colleagues. I also decided to add a little richness by adding a sprinkling of chocolate chips at the top. I like pumpkin and chocolate, I think it’s nice but you can certainly leave them off. Next time I make these, I’m going to melt the chocolate and create some sort of marble swirl design on the top.
So, this batch was just for me and Ryan. But around Thanksgiving, I intend to bring these pumpkin pie bars to work and share some of my holiday traditions with the Brits. And I bet whoever your coworkers are, they’ll appreciate some pumpkin pie in the break room.
Messy level: This is actually a one spoon recipe because I bashed the graham crackers using a plastic bag and rolling pin. That means, in the end I only used one dish, one whisk, and a few measuring cups to make this whole recipe. Easy peasy! I also think because we’re making bars, the crumbs for the crust stay contained and don’t fall as easily as they do when making a regular pie.
- 1¼ cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (Crush cookies in a processor or using a plastic bag and rolling pin)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg white
- 1¼ cups pumpkin puree (it's about ¾ of a standard 15oz can)
- ¼ cup (50g) sugar
- ¼ cup (50g) brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon all spice
- sprinkle nutmeg
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1-2 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325/165°.
- Mix the cookie crumbs, sugar, and butter together in a medium bowl until combined.
- Press into the bottom of an 8x8 square pan.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes.
- When the crust is done, turn the oven up to 425/220°.
- To make the filling, lightly beat the egg and egg white in large bowl. Then whisk in the pumpkin, sugars, cinnamon, ginger, all spice, and nutmeg.
- Slowly whisk in the cream to the pumpkin mixture.
- Pour the pumpkin mixture over the prepared gingersnap crust.
- Sprinkle the top with chocolate chips, if using.
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 350/180° and cook for another 20 minutes. The pie is ready when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.