Monday, May 23, 2011

rhubarb and strawberry crumb bars


One night we were having an adult conversation ... I know shocking that I still have those.  The husband of the other couple asked me if there were any fruit and vegetable that I did not like.  It got me thinking.  There are definitely some that rank higher for me but, I could not think of one that I detested.  What I did know is that there were two I had never tried.  My spring goal was to tackle both of these.  First up was the fava bean which I made into a fava bean and goat cheese dip.  A lot of effort but, LOVED.  The second was rhubarb.  I remember growing up that rhubarb pie was talked about but, it fell into the slimy cooked fruit category which my youthful palette could not stomach.  I am assuming rhubarb is not local because you don't see much rhubarb in southern California and I don't recall seeing it on a dessert menu.  That may not be the case for restaurants that don't have a kids menu but, I have not been to one of those in a long time.  When I saw rhubarb at the fruit and vegetable market I grabbed a few stalks.  It was not that bright red that I had seen in pictures so, I suspect it was not the best rhubarb out there.  At home I washed and sliced it.  The texture is crunchy like celery but, super tart.  I love tart so, I understood now why it is always paired with the super sweet strawberry.  They are a perfect match.  The rhubarb magically softens as it cooks and the tartness is dulled a bit but, present in the sweet cake.  These can be cut as bars or served as a coffee cake and would be perfect for a spring time brunch.  Not feeling the 'barb then swap out any fruit in this coffee cake.   I really like the tart rhubarb but, I kinda feel like I need to sample it a few more times to really get rhubarb.  Any good rhubarb recipes out there?

rhubarb strawberry crumb bars
source: everyday food

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus room-temperature butter for pan
1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 pound strawberries, sliced thin
1 tablespoon light-brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Butter and flour parchment and pan, tapping out excess flour.

Make streusel: Whisk together butter, brown sugar, and salt. Add flour and mix with a fork until large crumbs form. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Make cake: In a medium bowl, combine rhubarb, strawberries, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup flour. In another medium bowl, whisk 3/4 cup flour, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy; beat in eggs, one at a time. With mixer on low, beat in vanilla, then flour mixture. Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle with rhubarb and top with streusel.

Bake cake until golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool completely in pan. Using paper overhang, lift cake from pan. Cut into 16 bars.

2 comments:

Lucy said...

Thank you for the comment over on my blog - yours look delicious too! Here's a link to my all-time favorite strawberry rhubarb pie if you would like to try another sweet recipe.

http://thesweettouch.blogspot.com/2011/04/classic-strawberry-rhubarb-pie.html

It's a hit every time! If you can't find fresh rhubarb I've used frozen and it seems to work just fine. Can't wait to see what you make next!

Kitchen Belleicious said...

I am all over this. I plan to try strawberry and rhubarb hand pies for this surprise b-day party tomorrow but this is definitely going on my list to do again with rhubarb. I haven't really had much experience with rhubarb though so I am kinda nervous!

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