Saturday, December 19, 2015

ABC - Caramel Custard Pumpkin Seed Pie

This is the last recipe of the year which means this is the last recipe from Scientifically Sweet for the ABC bakers, or at least for the bake along. Feel free to bake from Christina's blog anytime as she adds new recipes almost weekly (these rugelach and these biscotti look really yummy but that's for another time). It was a delicious ride. I hope you enjoyed it just as much.

For this monthly challenge, the ABC bakers baked the Caramel Custard Pumpkin Seed Pie, or in my case, Caramel Custard Bars with Almond and Pumpkin Seeds. I needed a dessert to feed a lot of people at a work potluck, so I made some tweaks :)

Caramel Custard Bar with Almonds and Pumpkin Seeds

If you'd like to join the ABC bakers in their monthly baking adventures, please go to the ABC blog for more information.

In 2016 we will be baking from a new online recipe source that I'm very excited about: "Weekend Bakery" ( They offer a variety of recipes: breads, rolls, cakes, cookies, you name it. Happy baking!

In order to transform this pie (or tart) into bars, I had to make a few changes. My adaptation of the recipe is posted at the bottom of this post. The original recipe can be found HERE.

At the potluck, these were a major hit. From "delicious", "these are really good", to "when are you quitting your job and opening a bakery?" :)

Lightly toasted almonds

Toasted organic pumpkin seeds

Making caramel

Still making caramel

Caramel mixture plus eggs

Added the nuts and seeds - ready to be added to the crust

Ready for the oven

All done and nicely set!

Beautiful colors!

Bon Appetit!

Final thoughts/tips:

  • Hubby liked these a lot. He rated them 9 out of 10. His only minor complaint was that they were a tiny bit on the sweet side. That is typical of this type of dessert, so I was prepared for that.
  • I ate my first bite a couple of hours after they came out of the oven ("luckily" my garage was cold enough which sped up the cooling process). I literally swooned over my first bite. The crust had a great buttery flavor to it with some caramel undertones from the brown sugar. The custard has set just right, meaning not too runny and not too stiff. The caramel flavor in the filling was very pronounced which I enjoyed. The sliced almonds and the crunch from the pumpkin seeds were just perfect together (who knew?). Definitely two thumbs up!
  • Although I've never had pecan pie or pecan pie bars, these bars struck me as similar to that in taste and texture.
  • Variations for next time:
    • Use 100% almonds.
    • Use mixed nuts.
    • Combine nuts and dried (cranberry-almond anyone?).
  • The original recipe can be found HERE.
  • My adaptation to the recipe can be found at the bottom of this blog post.
  • Don't forget to check out the other ABC bakers.

Caramel Custard Bars with Almonds and Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients for the crust
6 oz butter, melted
3-1/2 oz dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
9 oz all-purpose flour

In a medium bowl, stir together the butter, sugar, salt and flour to make a stiff dough. Press the dough into a 9"x13" pan (I used a Pyrex pan). Bake at 325 F for 20 min. In the meantime, make the filling.

Ingredients for the filling

300 gr sugar
1-1/2 cup (12 oz) heavy whipping cream
160g sliced almonds, lightly toasted
60g organic pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
3/8 tsp salt
2 extra large eggs

Spray the inside of a large heavy duty saucepan with non-stick spray (this will help avoid crystallization). Place sugar and 5 tablespoons of water in a large heavy duty saucepan over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Cook the mixture without stirring until it turns deep amber, swirling the pan occasionally. In the meantime, heat the cream.

Remove the caramelized sugar from heat and slowly, carefully stir in the hot cream. The mixture will bubble and foam vigorously. Continue stirring until smooth. Return the pan to medium heat, bring mixture back to a boil and cook for 2 minutes while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, salt, almonds and pumpkin seeds. Let cool for 10 minutes. With a fork, beat the eggs. Slowly add all the warm caramel mixture to the eggs. Pour filling into pre-baked crust. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the center is just set.


  1. Your bars look very nice! I'll hope I'll have the time to make this pie (or bars, like you!) in time to post it.
    Just finished my large Christmas order of Poppy Seed Stollen and Lebkuchen, and still have to bake the usual cookies. But this really looks like something I need to try.
    Happy Holidays, Hanaâ!

    1. Happy holidays to you too, Karin! You sound like a busy girl but I'm sure you had fun baking all those goodies too :) Definitely give this recipe a try sometime. I give it two thumbs up!

  2. Wow Hanna! What a unique recipe! Looks and sounds delicious. What book are you using in 2016?

    1. Thanks Vicki. We will be baking from an online resource (so no book purchase necessary). For 2016, the winner is "Weekend Bakery" ( I'm really excited about that. Several of the recipes are traditional Dutch recipes :) You're welcome to join us anytime. No pressure!

  3. Your photos of the caramel cooking is really helpful! Your bars sound delicious. What a great idea for a potluck! Looking forward to next year!

    1. Thanks Karen. It worked really well in bar form :) I'm looking forward to next year too!

    2. Thanks Karen. It worked really well in bar form :) I'm looking forward to next year too!


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