BAM!! You’ve Got Apple-Pumpkin Crisp Bars

That’s just what I exclaimed as I zapped the Cranberry Coulis onto our highly successful offering this past weekend. Having just returned from the Harvest at the Harbor Festival in Portland, Maine, I am excited to relate that the Bangor Daily News table was probably the most well received of all the dozens of tables offering samples at the event. Of course my friend, Michele Ragussus, popped by to say hi and wish her luck in her trip down south during the hurricane blasting up the coast. I wish her a very safe trip and hope the right decisions are made regarding her plane schedules.
Pat Lemieux and I hardly had a minute to ourselves as we served up these bars, never one minute without someone wanting to sample this ooey, gooey autumn taste treat. All I can say is thank you Pat for all your help, I would never have been able to cut and serve the 2500 samples without your help. Even after reciting hundreds of times “Apple pie on bottom, topped with pumpkin crisp and drizzled with cranberry coulis” we still stammered and stuttered every single time we described it. I don’t know if it was because we were of the male persuasion or ……… Yeah, that’s the reason, no sense sugar-coating it.

If you want to try what everyone else was raving about, here is your chance. I made 60 pans(each with 50 sample-sized servings) of this purely New England pastry for the event and I urge you to make just one pan. I am happy to say that the leftover pans went directly to the food pantries in the Portland areas.

Yankee Apple Pumpkin Crisp Bars with Cranberry Coulis
This recipe, although seemingly complex and lengthy, is so easy I implore you to treat your family and friends with this tri-flavored dessert. Of course you can omit the cranberry coulis but the tang and bite of this addition truly heightens this treat and salivates the tongue, if I do say so myself.

Bottom Crust:

1 1/2 c. rolled oats(instant)
1 c. flour
1 c. granulated sugar

3-4 T. melted butter or margarine, or just enough to wet the other ingredients

6 apples, peeled, cored and diced small
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. flour
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
3 c. canned pumpkin
1 c. evaporated milk
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. ground cloves

Top Crust:
1 c. flour
1 c. brown sugar, packed
2-3 T. melted butter or margarine*

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.. Generously spray a 9-13-inch square baking pan with 2-inch high sides, or equivalent, with nonstick cooking spray. In 4 different bowls, combine bottom crust ingredients;set aside. Combine  first 5 ingredients in filling list in a second bowl; set aside. In a third bowl, combine remainder of filling ingredients; set aside. In a fourth bowl, combine top crust ingredients until it is crumbly; set aside.
Loosely spread the bottom crust ingredients into prepared pan, loosely. Dollop apple filling over this bottom crust, packing down evenly throughout the bottom. Spread the pumpkin filling evenly over the apples. Sprinkle the top crust mixture over the pumpkin filling and bake 40-45 minutes or until the top crust is crisp and lightly browned. Remove and cool completely before dribbling with Cranberry Coulis and serving.

Cranberry Coulis
2 c. pure cranberry juice

Place in a pan and boil on high until reduced by half, or until thick and syrupy. use your imagination and make use of blends, such as Cranberry-Pomegrante or Cranberry-Cherry Juices.


*This recipe gives you just enough topping to dot the pumpkin. Double it to completely cover this dessert.