Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Rhubarb Crumb Bars

 Just look what I discovered taking over the garden when I returned from my travels - Rhubarb! I love this stuff but I've discovered over the years that when I mention it people either love it, hate it or have never heard of it. My Aunt Sissy called it pie plant and we always looked forward to the rhubarb as the first spring plant from the garden that we could harvest and make into something yummy. Perhaps your only encounter with rhubarb has been with the ubiquitous strawberry rhubarb jam which is actually my least favorite way to eat rhubarb. I like my rhubarb on the tart side and I detest the addition of strawberry jello in anything so most SR jam recipes leave me cold.


You can see the gorgeous red of the stalks is only skin deep and the color disappears when they're cooked so if you see rhubarb desserts that are pink or red you can bet that food coloring or some other fruit has been added. This is not necessarily a bad thing just wanted you to know.

This is what I chose to make with my first rhubarb of the season. Delicious Rhubarb Crumb Bars. Crunchy on the top and bottom with a sweet tart rhubarb filling. Since I also picked up fresh strawberries from a roadside stand on the drive home I decided to top my bars off with sweet chopped strawberry goodness. Perfect! You can eat yours plain or with ice cream.


Rhubarb Crumb Bars makes 20-24
recipe adapted from Favorite Recipes From Quilters by Louise Stoltzfus
Ingredients
Crust
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Filling
6 cups chopped rhubarb
1 1/2 cups sugar (depending on how sour your rhubarb is and how tart you like it you may need more sugar, you should give it a taste after it’s cooked for a bit and adjust the sugar accordingly.)
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions
Crust: Combine all ingredients until crumbly. I used my food processor. Be sure that your butter is really cold in this step. No need to make the crumbs too fine the size of small peas is about right but if they end up smaller don’t fret. You could even use your hands and rub the butter into the dry ingredients in this step.
Pat half of crust mixture into lightly greased 13x9" baking pan (I use cooking spray for this step) and reserve the rest for the top.
In saucepan combine rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch and water.
Cook over medium low heat until juices form and filling starts to thicken.
Blend in vanilla.
Pour over crust.
Sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture.
Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes.

Oh my gosh, I almost forgot the whipped cream!

Until next time,

8 comments:

  1. I love rhubarb pie. We had it all the time when we lived in IL. Now in CA you are lucky to find it under $5 a pound. Can you believe it? I still make one pie a year anyway. We always grew our own and had to give most of it away.

    You dessert looks marvelous.

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    1. Since I'm a California girl I completely believe it! You should try growing your own it's very easy to grow. Just be sure to keep it out of the harsh afternoon sun. Depending on where you live you could even plant it in pots and in a year or two have your very own pie plant!

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  2. Yummy is how that looks! I love rhubarb but it will be a bit before we have any here! Thanks for sharing.
    Freemotion by the River Linky Party Tuesday

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    1. The rhubarb is early coming up this year because of our crazy weather so we get to enjoy it now but I don't know how long it will last since I expect a very hot, dry summer.

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  3. Thank you for this delicious sounding recipe. Our 'barb looks good this year. Hub is anxious for me to get going on using it. I always make him his favorite rhubarb strawberry pie for his late Apr birthday. Your recipe looks like a winner for Easter dinner. Like you, the jello bit turns me off. I want the real thing or not at all. :-)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, pie is also a favorite around here and next on the list. Oh, glorious spring thank you!

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  4. Looks delicious! I discovered a love for rhubarb when I lived in Iowa; almost every housewife has an old clump of it in her garden :) I do love a rhurbarb/strawberry pie or tart, but like you I dislike the jello/jam. Makes me want some of your dish!

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    Replies
    1. Our plants are young so I hope I'll be able to pick at least one more time this year. Hope you get a chance to make something rhubarbish soon.

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Thanks for your comments. I love hearing what you have to say.