Cooking it Light: Revised Pumpkin Squares cuts fat not taste

By Jeanne Jones

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Nov. 6 2012 4:39 p.m. MST

Dear Jeanne: I love your column. This is a great fall dessert that is delicious. But I would like for it to be less fattening. Can you help? Thank you!

— Rebecca A., Salt Lake City

Dear Rebecca: This is an easy and delicious alternative to pumpkin pie.

I made my own cake mix with flour, sugar and baking powder, to omit the added fat; then I used egg substitute and fat-free evaporated milk, and I got a delicious lower-fat version.

Jeanne Jones is the author of 33 cookbooks, most recently "Cooking From the Cupboard" (Rodale Press). For more information, you can go to her website, jeannejones.com.

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PUMPKIN SQUARES

CRUST:

1 egg

1 yellow cake mix — set aside 1 cup

1/2 cup melted butter

Mix and pat into greased and floured 9-by-13-inch pan.

FILLING:

1 can pumpkin-pie mix (30 ounces)

2 eggs

6 ounces evaporated milk

Mix and pour over crust.

TOPPING:

1/4 cup margarine

1 cup cake mix

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1?3 cup sugar

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Cut margarine into dry ingredients; sprinkle on top of squares. Bake at 350 F for 50 to 70 minutes. Garnish with whipped cream.

Makes 12 servings.

REDUCED-FAT PUMPKIN SQUARES

CRUST:

11/2 cups all-purpose flour

2?3 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup liquid egg substitute (or equal amount of whites)

1/4 cup melted butter

1 tablespoon water

FILLING:

1 can (30 ounces) pumpkin-pie mix

1/2 cup liquid egg substitute or whites

6 ounces (3/4 cup) evaporated skim milk

TOPPING:

2?3 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1?3 cup sugar

1?3 cup oatmeal

2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small cubes

1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2. For crust: In a large bowl, combine the flour, powdered sugar and baking powder. Add the egg substitute, butter and water. This mixture will be crumbly, but you should able to gather some and press it together to make a ball. If it is too crumbly, add a little more water. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.

3. For filling: In another bowl, mix together the pumpkin-pie mix, egg substitute and evaporated milk. Pour over the crust and smooth with a spatula.

4. For topping: In the same bowl you used for the crust, combine the flour, cinnamon, sugar and oatmeal. Mix in the butter with your fingers until the pieces of butter are very small. Add the chopped nuts and sprinkle over the top of the pumpkin mixture. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a sharp knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Makes 12 servings.

Each serving contains approximately: Original Recipe: 434 calories; 20 gm fat; 72 mg cholesterol; 529 mg sodium; 59 gm carbohydrates; 6 gm protein; 3 gm fiber. Revised Recipe: 290 calories; 8 gm fat; 16 mg cholesterol; 235 mg sodium; 48 gm carbohydrates; 6 gm protein; 4 gm fiber.

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