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New Richmond cook gains blue ribbon honor

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New Richmond cook Wendy Rusch's Tres Leches Pumpkin Pie Squares has been awarded a blue ribbon at "Just A Pinch Recipe Club," the new online social community created for and by cooks.

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Rusch's Tres Leches Pumpkin Pie Squares was named a blue ribbon winner by Food Editor Janet Tharpe. To land the award, Rusch served up a full-flavored, festive dish that was both tasty and easy to prepare.

"I love pumpkin pie and I wanted to make the best of the best this year. So I started playing with the ingredients and trying things out on my friends and family," Rusch said. "This is the winner. This makes a lot, a jelly roll pan full, so make this for a crowd or put into smaller pans and freeze."

Rusch's festive holiday recipe, along with thousands of others, can be viewed, printed and shared at no charge through Just A Pinch. Rusch is one of several area residents participating in the club, known as "America's Great Recipe Swap."

Wendy Rusch's Tres Leches Pumpkin Pie Squares:

Ingredients

CRUST:

3 c flour

3 stk butter

1/2 c brown sugar

1 1/2 c pecans, chopped

FILLING:

3 - 15 oz can(s) 100% pumpkin

1 - 12 oz can(s) evaporated milk

1 - 14 oz can(s) sweetened condensed milk

1/2 c heavy cream or whipping cream

3 c sugar

1 tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla

2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice

8 eggs

1/4 c corn starch

TOPPING:

3 c whipping cream

3/4 c powdered sugar

3 Tbsp instant white chocolate pudding mix, optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray (or lightly wipe down with vegetable oil on a paper towel) an 11x17 pan.

In a large bowl combine flour, butter, brown sugar with hands or mixer on low, until crumbly like oatmeal. Stir in pecans.

Spread into pan and pat down well and evenly. Bake 15 minutes.

While crust is baking, combine filling ingredients in large bowl mixing well with mixer. Pour over hot baked crust and bake 35-45 minutes until center is no longer jiggly.

Remove from oven to cool. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

When totally cool or ready to serve, in a medium to large bowl, with mixer on medium, beat cream and powdered sugar until it just starts to thicken.

Then add pudding mix and beat on high until stiff peaks form. The pudding mix will hold the whipped cream together and can be made up to two days before serving. At this point you can either spread the topping over the bars before cutting or top each piece individually.

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