Sunday 31 October 2010

Pumpkin Yoghurt Slice for Halloween 2010

I wasn't going to carve a pumpkin this year - although I was very happy with last year's attempt - but on Friday I was in Waitrose and they had cute little carving pumpkins, so I couldn't resist.

My nod to Halloween was going to be a pumpkin pie. Which I really like. Paul was sceptical though: he felt that it could easily be too pumpkin-y and not spicy enough. So I gave it some serious thought and came up with something mid-way between pumpkin pie and cheesecake, but quite a lot lighter than either.

It's a rich vanilla shortbread base (pretty much the base from Joy of Baking's Millionaire's Shortbread), topped with a spiced yoghurt and butternut puree. It turned out beautifully: Paul liked it, so I think even other pumpkin pie sceptics could be turned around by this.

Pumpkin Yoghurt Slice


170g butter, softened
50g golden caster sugar
1/2tsp vanilla bean paste
100g plain flour
100g tapioca flour


400g TOTAL Greek yoghurt (I'm still using the enormous supply they kindly sent me)
300g butternut squash (this is the raw, peeled weight)
85ml maple syrup
1tsp pumpkin pie spice (I haven't seen pumpkin pie spice in the UK, I used this blend)
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 7" x 11" lamington tin with baking parchment.

Cut the butternut into small chunks and bake for about half an hour until tender but not too brown.

Place the maple syrup in a small pan and boil for a few minutes until slightly reduced, then cool. You want it the consistency of honey, not toffee.

Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla paste with a wooden spoon until fluffy, then add the flours and mix to a paste. I find it easiest to bring it together with my hands towards the end. Press firmly into the base of the lamington. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven.

Force the cooked butternut through a sieve so you have a smooth puree. Discard the fibrous bits left in the sieve. Beat into the puree the cooled, reduced maple syrup, the yoghurt and spices. Taste, and add more spices if needed, remembering that the flavours will develop more with cooking. Then beat in the eggs.

Pour the filling mixture over the shortbread base and return to the oven. Bake for about 35 minutes or until just set in the middle. Remove from the oven and cool.

I topped it with some caramelised almond flakes but that is optional.

Serve at room temperature.


Kavey said...

Love your cat, so artistic! Even better than last year's!

Suelle said...

I like the development of the Hallowe'en cat theme! Definitely got the look of Urchin about it.

The pumpkin slice looks good too.:)

Anonymous said...

I love this so much I am definitely making it this week! I have pumpkin waiting to be turned into something cool, why not an almost cheesecake.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Kavey - thanks! I decided to try a bit more detail this year.

Suelle - I made the tail particularly bouffant to capture Urchin! The slice is very good.

Caroline said...

Your hallowe'en pumpkin looks amazing - the tail definitely resembles Urchin's tail!

Lovely looking pumpkin slice too!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Jo - I am sure you will like it! If you don't have maple syrup, use honey.

C - I have tweaked it a bit to make the eyes less demonic. Hopefully I can get a good picture.

tasteofbeirut said...

I am a cat lover and love that pumpkin carving! I also loved the compromise of pie and cheesecake; the result is luscious, creamy and full of flavor. Wonderful.

mscrankypants said...

I love the Urchin kitty pumpkin! The slice is also very imaginative -- I've never considered yoghurt and pumpkin together, but it seems such a smooth combination.

Deb in Hawaii said...

You are a pumpkin artiste! ;-) Both it and the dessert look wonderful. I love that you made a lighter almost cheesecake--it looks so creamy.

Alicia Foodycat said...

ToB - I can see that kitty-carving is going to become an annual thing at Foodycat Central!

Cranky - give it a go! It is really velvety and lovely.

Deb - it has a nice tang but isn't as cloying as cheesecake.

hungryandfrozen said...

That cat jack-o-lantern is amazing!

This slice sounds delicious, I bet the pumpkin and yoghurt would be delicious together. Halloween's a bit hit and miss over here, it has ramped up in popularity in the past few years because big shops use it as an excuse to market more stuff :)

Bettina Douglas said...

I love the way the cat looks cute in the top picture and scary when backlit.
The yoghurt & pumpin combination sounds like a winner.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Laura - the shops try to make it bigger than it is here.

Mother - I redid the eyes to make them less demonic. I need to post the updated photo! It's the old AWW apricot yoghurt slice filling.

Jude said...

Great carving! (I need convincing about eating pumpkin though).

Sam said...

Well I love pumpkin pie but I really like the sound of this too. The carved pumpkin is brilliant!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Jude - pumpkin soup?

Sam - it's a lot easier than I would have thought.

kat said...

Your pumpkin turned out super cute. You know I think I like pumpkin cheesecake better than pumpkin pie.

Choclette said...

What a clever carving, it makes a most appealing lantern.

I've always been a little dubious about pumpkin pie, but I think you've won me over with this version. It sounds delicious and how could it fail to be with that lovely Greek Yogurt.

Alicia Foodycat said...

Kat - thanks! Unfortunately none of the less-demonic-eyed pictures I took turned out well.

Choclette - people in Britain are so hostile to pumpkin and I don't know why!

Choclette said...

No no, can't have you thinking that, I'm a huge fan of pumpkin - we grow as many as our summer allows. I love pumpkin soup and pumpkin curry. I guess I only tried pumpkin pie once and it wasn't very pleasant so I've not had the urge to try it again.


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