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Daring Baker Challenge: Pumpkin Pie Crostata Bars

Pumpkin Pie Crostata Bars - 6

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

I was happy when I saw that this month’s Daring Baker was crostata, since I had never tried this type of pastry before. What’s more, since the challenge fell around Thanksgiving time, I decided to fill my crostata pastry with the perfect filling for the season: pumpkin pie. So, I’m sure right about now you’re wondering why the title of my post is “pumpkin pie bars” rather than simply “pumpkin pie.” The answer is that when I pre-baked the pasta frolla (so that when I poured in the pumpkin pie filling, the baked pastry wouldn’t end up being soggy), it shrunk down to almost the bottom of the pie dish. In order to salvage the dessert, I ended up removing the entire crostata from the pie dish and cutting it into bars. It was disappointing, but it turned out okay in the end.

This experience did cause me to take a look back at previous Daring Baker challenges though, and I realized that a lot of the time I seem to end up frustrated with recipes I’ve followed exactly and yet just don’t seem to turn out right for me. Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s the recipes, or maybe it’s a little of both – but I realized that along the way, taking on these challenges every month has become more stressful than fun…and so, I’m thinking that I may be saying goodbye to the Daring Baker challenges, at least for now. I’ve certainly enjoyed my time as a Daring Baker over the last year and a half, and I want to thank everyone who is involved in running The Daring Kitchen, as well as each of the talented bakers who helped me to learn more with each challenge. I know I’ve become a better baker because of my involvement in this group.

And with that…on to the bars!

For the pasta frolla (I used the Version 1 recipe):

For the filling:

To make the pasta frolla, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender, incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until crumbly.

Pumpkin Pie Crostata Bars - 1

Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in the beaten eggs.

Pumpkin Pie Crostata Bars - 2

Knead until the dough comes together, and then shape the dough into a flat disk. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Pumpkin Pie Crostata Bars - 3

To make the pumpkin pie filling, beat all of the filling ingredients together on low-medium speed until well-blended. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the pasta frolla in a pie dish and prick all over with a fork. Bake 8-10 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie Crostata Bars - 4

Pour the filling into the hot pie crust, and cover the edges with aluminum foil or a pie shield. Bake 15 minutes, and then reduce the oven temperature to 350. Bake 45 minutes longer or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack 2 hours before serving.

Pumpkin Pie Crostata Bars - 5

Once cooled, cut the pie into bars. Decorate with baked pastry shapes on top, if desired. Store in the refrigerator.

Pumpkin Pie Crostata Bars - 6

Posted by on November 28, 2010.

Tags: ,

Categories: desserts & sweets

12 Responses

  1. They look lovelu….and do perfect! Congrats!!

    by Cristina, from Buenos Aires to Paris on Nov 28, 2010 at 3:16 am

  2. (Sorry…too early to write!!) I meant “They look lovely and so…perfect!!

    by Cristina, from Buenos Aires to Paris on Nov 28, 2010 at 3:17 am

  3. Sorry to hear that might be leaving the DBers!

    Your crostata squares are superb I like how you overcame your problems and made a great treat.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

    by Audax Artifex on Nov 28, 2010 at 6:52 am

  4. Way to make lemonade out of lemons. Turning them into bars was a stroke of genius. I’m sorry to hear that you might be leaving DB but if it’s not fun for you anymore (and just stressful) guess you have to do what you have to do. Maybe sit a few months out? Can you do that? I just joined DB in October and so far I’m enjoying it very much.

    by Renee (Kudos Kitchen) on Nov 28, 2010 at 9:23 am

  5. The bars look wonderful.
    I came to the same conclusion and dropped out of the DB. It was often just not what we wanted to eat.

    by My Kitchen in the Rockies on Nov 28, 2010 at 11:44 am

  6. Sorry about the shrinking dough – it’s happened to me more times than I care to admit. With that said, the bars look absolutely delicious.

    by Louanne on Nov 28, 2010 at 8:37 pm

  7. Good job, I never would have thought of that. It’s only my second month as a DB so far I have enjoyed it but I can totally understand your frustration. You have a lovely blog, best to you.

    by Suzanne on Nov 29, 2010 at 1:37 am

  8. These look freaking amazing!!

    by Katrina on Nov 29, 2010 at 8:20 am

  9. Your pumpkin pie crostata bars looks soooo delicious and beautiful! I love the idea of cutting them into bars! Sorry to hear you might be leaving the Daring Bakers. But if it’s become more frustrating than fun, then I totally understand for you would feel.

    by Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels on Nov 29, 2010 at 12:11 pm

  10. Your pumpkin bars look incredible! Love it!

    by Ingrid on Nov 29, 2010 at 7:07 pm

  11. I like the idea of cutting the crostata into bars. Your story reminded me of the first time I made pumpkin pie filling: I had no idea it would be liquid, so I had to change my original plan to accommodate that.

    by Simona on Dec 8, 2010 at 4:35 pm

  12. Brilliant! I’m just now getting around to commenting on the Daring Bakers posts for November. This one looks fabulous. Great idea to make pumpkin pie!

    by Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction on Dec 8, 2010 at 9:40 pm

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About Sugarcrafter

Hi there! I’m Tracy, and I live in upstate NY. My husband and I met in college and have been married since 2005. A Canning, baking, writing, photography, and even cleaning (yes, cleaning – it can be oddly relaxing), are all things that I enjoy. This blog brings all of those passions together – but […]more →