Sunday, May 27, 2012

Rhubarb bars


Everyone is familiar with lemon bars and maybe even lime bars, but I wanted to use rhubarb to achieve the same dessert. The rhubarb is tart and tangy and I thought it would be a great replacement in this dessert. The only problem was that rhubarb is thicker than lemon or lime juice, so I needed to make sure that the ratio of ingredients would allow the filling to set. I looked all over the net to see if someone had done this already, and I found only one recipe the Quinces and the Pea

When I made my bars, they did not turn out a lovely light pink color, as you can see. I think this is a combination of two things: 1) my rhubarb was not super pink in color; and 2) the pastured eggs I had had very orange yolks. Regardless of the color though, the rhubarb flavor shines through and they were really good. I brought these to a picnic and everyone enjoyed them. I slightly modified the original recipe to the one below. I cut down the amount of sugar, and still thought they were a touch on the sweet side. Everyone else seemed to think they were the right amount of sweetness. Give these bars a try before rhubarb season is over.

Rhubarb bars
compote:
4 cups diced rhubarb
3/4 cup granulated sugar, preferably unbleached/raw
1 tablespoon water

crust:
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus more for greasing
zest of one lemon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2/3 cup powdered sugar

 filling:
1-3/4 cups prepared rhubarb compote
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar, preferably unbleached/raw
5 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Make the compote by combining the compote ingredients in a saucepan and cooking over medium heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer until the mixture thickens and the rhubarb falls apart. Let cool slightly and then puree until smooth with an immersion blender or in a regular blender.

Make the crust by combining the crust ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture comes together and looks like coarse meal. Grease a 9x13" baking pan and then pour the crust mixture in. Spread evenly and press it down firmly with your hands to make the crust. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then make the filling by whisking together all of the filling ingredients in a large bowl until well-combined.

Remove the crust from the refrigerator and gently poke it (not all the way through) with a fork in a few places to help keep it from bubbling up. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until it just begins to turn golden. Then remove and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Pour the filling into the crust. Gently, but firmly, knock the pan onto the counter to remove any air bubbles. Bake for another 20-23 minutes, until the filling is just set in the middle.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely, or place in the refrigerator. Serve cold or at room temperature cut into squares. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired. 


What was I cooking one year ago: chickpea and eggplant phyllo tarts
Two years ago: buttermilk pancakes

20 comments:

  1. This is different.... for anyone who loves rhubarb, this would be heaven:)

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  2. Great job and trying out a new recipe out, sometime I need to try rhubarb but I just never see it where we are.

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  3. These really do open the door when it comes to the thought of bars. Most bars like this are usually lemon or lime-so the rhubarb is quite unique. I am saving this recipe, definitely a winner. Thanks for sharing this!

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  4. Rhubarb! Bars?! I was never too daring with my lemon bars, now you've challenged me to a rhubarb!

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  5. I keep seeing rhubarb pop up all over the blogosphere lately, and I have to say... I might just make a trip to the store today. Especially for these bars!! They look amazing!

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  6. Rhubarb seems to be in season now, and these bars look like a perfect way to use them!

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  7. My rhubarb is ready and waiting for this. I love making bars and have not seen this recipe - so fun to try something new!

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  8. wow, i've never had rhubarb bars! they don't even look like rhubarb bars...they look like caramel bars - and that's a good thing! well now, you are probably the second person in the www to post this recipe! :)

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  9. you know, I've been seeing rhubarb show up on so many blogs these days, and I have no idea what it is. I need to study this ingredient and understand how it makes a dessert. :)

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  10. These look delicious! I have still never made anything with rhubarb! Its so sad, I really need to try it out sometime!

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  11. Wow, it's been years since I've seen anyone cook with rhubarb. My neighbor used to make rhubarb pie when we were kids and it was amazing! A great way to sneak a little nutrition into a treat.

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  12. I love rhubarb. Your bars look delicious.

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  13. I thought rhubarb cakes or bars should be pinkish too. Got to try cooking or baking rhubarb too to learn more about rhubarb :D

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  14. These bars are such a unique idea! That's 2 yummy rhubarb recipes you've given us. I'm inspired!

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  15. Rhubarb bars sound lovely! And perfect for a picnic!

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  16. I couldn't get my hands on rhubarb this year, and I'm so mad. Yours looks so delicious!!

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  17. What a delicious use of rhubarb! I definitely want these in my life.

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  18. while i was definitely expecting a pinker hue, i'm not bothered by the beige-ness of it all--it still sounds fantastic! :)

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  19. Lovely! I came across a similar recipe on food52 that I am going to try soon - shortbread with rhubarb curd

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