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Nov 28, 2011 12:23 PM

Can I Use Pumpkin Pie Filling Vs. Pumpkin Puree In This Recipe? Looking To Boost Flavor.

I'm making chocolate pumpkin bars again from this recipe:

The recipe uses canned pumpkin puree. Ok, so....

They turned out very good, although I had to bake them twice as long as the recipe called for. I'd like to boost the pumpkin pie-like flavor even more, so I am wondering if I'll get the same result with pumpkin pie filling, especially as far as consistency and how well the top layer (which is essentially pumpkin cheesecake) will set up.
My spices are pretty fresh so it's not as if they were ever an issue.

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  1. Most recipes say no, because pie filling has lots of other stuff in it and will taste less like pure pumpkin.

    2 Replies
    1. re: acgold7

      What other stuff /spices beside the usual suspects involved in pumpkin pie?

      1. re: monavano

        Sorry for my ignorance... having never used it, I assumed it was the entire filling, including the eggs and milk. But after a quick Google, it appears to be just the pumpkin plus the sugar and spices, so I guess it should work, as long as those ingredients are called for. But obviously the pumpkin is a smaller percentage of the mix than if you used pure pumpkin, so the same amount will likely have less pumpkin flavor, not more, which if I understand you is what you're looking for.

    2. pumpkin pie filling simply contains sugar and the spices that are already called for in the recipe. the consistency and cook qualities are the same as canned plain pumpkin.

      that being said, pumpkin is a pretty neutral tasting food. you could add more of the spices if you want to amp up flavor.

      2 Replies
      1. re: hotoynoodle

        I did up the amounts of spice and it helped, but I want more! Thanks for the insight on using pie filling. That's what I was leaning towards. I really want it to taste like there's a pumpkin pie on top of a brownie.

        1. re: monavano

          if you use the pie filling, adjust the sugar in the recipe too.

      2. You could try using sweet potatoes instead of pumpkin. I always sub them in pies because I find they have a richer, more complex flavour (and are way easier to peel/roast/puree etc. than fresh pumpkin).

        1 Reply
        1. re: BananaBirkLarsen

          I agree that sweet potatoes are more flavorful. I'm looking for canned tho. Thanks!

        2. roast some fresh pie pumpkin - roasting it in the oven ramps up the flavor considerably.

          1. My sweetie made a pumpkin pie for our late Thanksgiving dinner with friends this Sat. We followed the "best recipe". And I made some homemade whipped cream to go with it (just a touch of sugar, vanilla and brandy). It was the BEST pumpkin pie EVER.

            I think the key, as is often the case with many great recipes, was our use of fresh ground spices: clove, cinnamon and nutmeg. The suggestion to use roasted pumpkin filling makes sense. Roasting intensifies flavor so ... yeah I'd try that.