By Joe Drozda and Bob Bley
Now that you’ve overeaten (again) at your Thanksgiving feast, including several slices of that pumpkin pie with sweet whipping cream. You may wonder how you can use these great foods for your tailgate. After all, everyone loved the turkey, why not have turkey sandwiches? And pumpkin pie, who didn’t love that? The sandwiches will be easy, but fresh pumpkin pie made for Saturday’s game is hard to handle while standing at a tailgate in the stadium parking lot. The slices of fresh pie require plates and forks and a table at which to sit. There’s got to be a tailgaters’ way to have that taste of pumpkin pie on game day.
We scoured the internet for experts at pie making and found the “Top 20 Pie Blogs and Websites to Follow in 2018” from feedspot.com. We chose the blog Pies and Plots, run by Laura at piesandplots.net. She has been featured on Detroit’s ClickOnDetroit.com, where she had two contest-winning recipes. She also has contributed to the Huffington Post and thekitchn.com. Laura agreed to help us turn our pumpkin pie recipe into bars for tailgating so that people could enjoy pumpkin pie without a plate or fork. The bar can be hand held and enjoyed while standing. She gave us this award-winning recipe for perfect pie crust to use as the base for our bars. Then she tweaked the ingredients for our pumpkin pie bar filling.
Perfect Pie Crust
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbs. granulated sugar
½ tsp. Kosher salt
½ cup organic shortening
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter (cold and cubed)
4-6 Tbs. very cold water
Preparation – In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Add shortening and butter and work into the flour mixture with fingers or a pastry cutter. Once only small pieces of shortening and butter remain, add water slowly, working with your hands until a workable but not wet dough is formed. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove one crust from the refrigerator and roll it on a floured surface so it’s large enough to cover your baking dish, including the sides. Put parchment paper in the baking dish so that the paper covers the bottom and all four sides up a few inches to make handles to lift out bars. Now place the rolled dough into this 11-7 baking dish and press it to fill the bottom and a couple of inches up the sides. Now return this baking dish to the fridge until you have the filling done.
Pumpkin Pie Bar Filling
15 oz. can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
½ cup packed dark brown sugar
¼ cup of pumpkin flavored pancake syrup or pure maple syrup
1 Tbs. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
In a large bowl whisk two eggs and then add pumpkin, whipping cream, brown sugar, syrup, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Stir this mixture well with your whisk. Now pour the mixture into your pan to cover the dough. Smooth the top if necessary and bake for 50 -60 minutes until the center is set. Allow the bars to cool for 90 minutes and then lift them from the pan by using the sides as a handle. Cut the bars into twelve servings.
At the game, serve topped with whipped cream sprinkled with a sugar cinnamon mixture.
Make your own fresh pumpkin pie spice by using this mixture:
3 parts ground cinnamon
1 parts ground nutmeg
1 parts ground ginger
1 parts ground allspice
1 parts ground cloves