24 May 2010

Strawberry-Rhubarb Bars

I've been wanting to try Rhubarb for the past few springs, but I'm not a fan of fruit pies (except apple!).  I finally came across a non-pie recipe!  Rhubarb is interesting... stringy and shaped like celery, but tart.  I certainly didn't fall in love with it, I'm not even sure if I liked it.  But, it provided a nice balance to these bars and the family loved it!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Bars
Adpted from Pure Flavor

1 1/2 cups plus 4 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup plus 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp grated orange zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, skinned & stripped on strings, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced

Preheat the oven to 350.  In the bowl of a food processor, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, powdered sugar, and salt.  Slowly pulse the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.  Scoop 2 cups of the mixture into an 8 inch baking dish and press evenly into the dish.  Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 25 mins

While crust in baking, combine 1/3 cup granulated sugar and ground cloves.  Stir in 4 tbsp flour, zest, and vanilla.  Add the rhubarb and strawberries, mixing well to coat the fruit.  Pour the mixture onto the hot crust, spreading to cover evenly.  Sprinkle the remaining butter mixture over the fruit.  Bake for 50 mins or until bubbling around the edges and light brown on top. 

The book recommends serving the bars at room temperature, but we found them much more enjoyable served hot and topped with Vanilla Ice Cream.