This recipe comes from a recently purchased cookbook: "The Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook", (It is from the bakery in Savannah, GA by the same name). I recently had the privilege to visit this wonderful place and meet one of the owners - Cheryl Day. All I can say is what a fantastic place.
Everything in the store is inviting - the owners, the waite staff, the vintage merchandise, and of course the food. The shelves are lined with antiques/retro and other wise.
You can enjoy 'baked from scratch' cookies, pies, cupcakes and much more; sit down for a relaxing lunch (I can recommend the 'pimento & pig hot sandwich - excellent), or just enjoy something from the expresso bar.
But, if a trip to Savannah is not in the cards then, their cookbook is a must for your collection.
Recipe for Pumpkin Crunch
(as it is written in "The Back In The Day Cookbook")
For the Crust:
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
For the filling:
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
One 1-pound box (4 cups) confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground mace
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 large eggs
(Fresh whipped cream, for topping, optional)
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-by-13-by-2 inch baking pan and line with parchment, allowing the paper to hang over the edges.
To make the crust: Put the butter in a large heatproof bowl, set it over a pot of barely simmering water, and stir frequently until melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the flour all at once and mix until just incorporated.
Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden on the edges but still light brown in the center. Let the crust cool for at least 30 minutes.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a medium mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the pumpkin and mix until thoroughly incorporated, about 5 minutes. Turn the speed to low, add the melted butter and vanilla, and mix until combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the confectioners' sugar, mace, cinnamon, nutmeg, and eggs, beating until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Continue to mix on medium speed until smooth, about 5 minutes.
Pour into the prepared crust. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the center is firm. Let cool to room temperature, the refrigerate.
Cut the bars into squares and serve chilled with whipped cream, optional. (will keep in airtight container in refrigerator for 3 days)