Make the filling. In a large bowl beat the eggs and brown sugar. Using a spoon, stir in the pumpkin and spices, then gradually stir in the milk until all is combined. We're not using a whisk because we don't want to create any bubbles that will collect on top of the pie when it's baked.
*I tested this using 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup milk instead of the 12 ounces of evaporated milk. It was also really good, but I found that the evaporated milk offered a creamier texture.
*The spice ratios I used provides a nicely spiced pie. You could also use 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice instead of the individual spices or change the ratios of the spices I gave to suit your desired taste.
*I tested the crust with 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup of sugar. I thought the one cup was too sweet so I cut it in half. It now tastes like a classic, not too sweet shortbread and balances nicely with the filling. If you want a sweeter base, try 3/4 cup. At 1 cup, the crust was crispier and we thought, too sweet.
*I cut the bars two ways, in 3" squares and in 1 1/2" squares. The 1 1/2" squares are a perfect (2 bite) sized portion if you're serving a lot of different desserts.
*After the bars completely cool, store lightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can then serve cold, room temperature or warm up quickly in the microwave. For the cleanest cuts, I cut the bars when they are cold.
*Need more servings? Make a batch and a half and bake it in a 13 X 9" pan, if you want a similar thickness of crust and filling. You can double it but your crust and filling will be thicker than what the recipe shows and your bake times could be longer. Just keep an eye on the oven when you're nearing the end of recommended bake time for the smaller pan and decide when it's done by how it looks instead of worrying about a specific time. If you have a 10X15" jelly roll pan, that should work for doubling without too much difference in thickness. Just make sure your pan is deep enough to hold all of the filling!
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