Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Squares

These pumpkin cheesecake crumble squares are the perfect combination of pumpkin and cheesecake. Trust me, you’re going to love these creamy crunchy bars.

To Pumpkins at Pumpkin Time by Grace Cornell Tall

Back into your garden-beds!
Here come the holidays!
And woe to the golden pumpkin-heads
Attracting too much praise.

Hide behind the hoe, the plow,
Cling fast to the vine!
Those who come to praise you now
Will soon sit down to dine.

Keep your lovely heads, my dears,
If you know what I mean…
Unless you want to be in pie,
Stay hidden or stay green!!

Pumpkin desserts are overflowing out of my kitchen.  I recently purchased an adorable cheese pumpkin and have been using up all it’s wonderful deliciousness.  If you have never roasted a pumpkin before I suggest giving it a try.  Although there are a few rules you should follow.

– NEVER use  carved pumpkins to cook with…you risk getting or giving someone food poisoning and in the words of Alton Brown, that is not good eats.

– Jack-o-lantern pumpkins are for decoration not for eating. If you have ever cleaned out a jack-o-lantern you will notice they are pretty hollow in the inside and this is because they are grown for size and a thin shell to carve into…not for flavor.

– Use sugar or cheese pumpkins. They are grown for their insides and have a thicker shell packed all the way through with pulp.

Also I just recently learned there is a canned pumpkin shortage!  So this means there is even a bigger reason to use fresh.  Who wants to be fighting someone in the grocery store for the last can of pumpkin? I know I don’t! Although I might like seeing someone else in an argument over canned pumpkin….as long as I was not involved!  🙂 So hit up your local farmers market and find some great sugar or cheese pumpkins for all your baking needs.  Oh one more thing I learned about canned pumpkin…….

IT IS NOT PUMPKIN!!!

It’s actually a squash variety called Dickinson.  Personally I was not that upset when I learned this but I found it interesting.  To be completely honest a cheese pumpkin is a moschata squash so I can see how the lines get blurred.  In fact the difference between pumpkin and squash in many cases is very small.  You can read about this here and to learn more about cheese pumpkins click here.

Ok now onto food! These cheesecake bars cooked up easy and the flavor is amazing. I was a little leery of the sour cream mixture on top, thinking it would be too tangy, but boy was I wrong. I brought the whole dish together. I love the crunchy bottom mixed with the light whipped pumpkin cheesecake filling…delicious! Another great thing about this recipe is that it is not as time consuming as a normal cheesecake.  The next time I think I might try putting the bars in a 9×13 pan and double the filling.  So delicious…I suggest you try it immediately…if not sooner 🙂 Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Crumble Squares

Ingredients:

For crust:
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick chilled unsalted butter - diced
1 cup pecan halves
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats (I used quick cooking because I was out of old fashioned)

For filling:
8 ounces cream cheese - room temperature
3/4 cup fresh or canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger

For topping:
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Source: Epicurious, 101 Cookbooks and Von Thun's Country Farm Market

Directions:

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter 9x9x2-inch metal baking pan. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Using on/off turns, blend first 4 ingredients in processor until coarse meal forms. Add pecans; using on/off turns, process until nuts are chopped. Add oats; process using on/off turns until mixture is moistened but not clumping. Press 3 1/2 cups crumbs onto bottom of prepared square pan (do not clean processor). Transfer remaining crumbs to lined baking sheet. Bake crumbs on sheet until golden, stirring once, about 12 minutes. Cool crumbs. Bake crust until golden, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven while preparing filling. Maintain oven temperature.

For filling:
Blend all ingredients in same processor until smooth. Spread filling over warm crust; bake until set, dry in center, and beginning to rise at edges, about 20 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.

For topping:
Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Spread evenly over hot filling. Bake until topping sets and bubbles at edges, about 5 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack. Sprinkle crumbs over topping; gently press into topping. Cover; chill until cold, about 2 hours. Do ahead Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Cut into squares.

Homemade Pumpkin Puree Recipe