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.


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.

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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