Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

The story behind these delightful bars goes back to a summer visit to my grandmother’s farmhouse in the countryside. My grandmother had a lush garden where rhubarb plants flourished alongside rows of juicy strawberries. One sunny afternoon, we decided to combine our harvest into a sweet treat that captured the essence of summer. The result? A batch of Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars that were so good, they disappeared in no time.

These bars feature a buttery crust that perfectly complements the tartness of the rhubarb and the sweetness of the strawberries. The filling is infused with a hint of cinnamon and orange zest, adding depth and brightness to each bite. The crumb topping provides a delightful crunch that contrasts beautifully with the gooey fruit filling.

One of the things I love about this recipe is its versatility. You can enjoy these bars warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or cold with a dollop of whipped cream. They’re perfect for picnics, family gatherings, or simply as an afternoon treat with a cup of tea. Plus, the recipe is straightforward enough for novice bakers yet satisfying for seasoned pros looking for a comforting bake.

In our family, these bars are a symbol of love and togetherness. Every time I bake them, I’m transported back to that summer day in my grandmother’s kitchen, surrounded by the people I love and the sweet scent of strawberries and rhubarb filling the air. I hope this recipe brings a touch of that warmth and joy to your home too.

How to Make Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 10 Tbsp cold butter, cubed (for crust)
  • 2 tsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp salt (for crust)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (for crust)
  • 4-5 Tbsp cold water
  • 10 Tbsp cold butter, cubed (for crumb topping)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (for filling)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (for filling)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 3 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 2 1/2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2” pieces
  • Whipped Cream
  • Ice Cream

Directions:

Crust: In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or fork until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Gradually add cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together. Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Filling: Preheat your oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, mix strawberries, rhubarb, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Add the cornstarch, flour, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Stir well and set aside.

Crumb Topping: In another bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in the butter until the mixture forms coarse crumbs.

Assembly: On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle slightly larger than your baking sheet. Transfer the dough to the sheet pan by wrapping it around a rolling pin and then unrolling it over the pan. Press the dough into the pan, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold the extra dough underneath to create a thick crust edge and crimp the edges.

Spread the filling evenly over the crust. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the filling.

Bake in the oven at 425°F for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375°F and bake for an additional 40-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. If the crust edges brown too quickly, cover them with foil.

Allow the bars to cool before cutting into squares. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.

Making Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

FAQs:

What is the best way to ensure the crust is flaky and not soggy?

To ensure a flaky crust, it is essential to keep the butter cold throughout the process. You can achieve this by using cold water and working quickly. Additionally, pre-chilling the dough for at least 30 minutes helps to maintain the butter’s firmness, which creates flaky layers during baking. Also, avoid overmixing the dough, as this can develop the gluten and make the crust tough.

Can I use frozen strawberries and rhubarb for this recipe?

Yes, you can use frozen strawberries and rhubarb. However, make sure to thaw them completely and drain any excess liquid before using them in the filling. This prevents the bars from becoming too watery. Moreover, you might need to adjust the cornstarch amount slightly to account for the extra moisture from frozen fruits.

How can I tell when the bars are fully baked?

The bars are fully baked when the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. The bubbling indicates that the filling has thickened properly. If the edges start to brown too quickly, you can cover them with foil to prevent burning. This way, the center continues to bake without overbaking the edges.

What can I use as a substitute for rhubarb?

If you don’t have rhubarb, you can substitute it with other tart fruits like raspberries or cranberries. These fruits provide a similar tartness that balances the sweetness of the strawberries. Additionally, you might need to adjust the sugar amount to taste, as some fruits can be less tart than rhubarb.

How should I store the leftover strawberry rhubarb crumb bars?

Store leftover bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. If you need to keep them longer, refrigerate the bars for up to five days. You can also freeze them for up to three months; just make sure to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Before serving, thaw the bars in the refrigerator and reheat them slightly if desired.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

Discover the nostalgic flavors of summer with our Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars. Easy to make, even easier to love!
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
...

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 10 Tbsp cold butter cubed
  • 4-5 Tbsp cold water
  • 3 1/2 cups strawberries hulled and quartered
  • 2 1/2 cups rhubarb cut into 1/2” pieces
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 2 tsp orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 10 Tbsp cold butter cubed
  • Whipped Cream
  • Ice Cream

Instructions
 

Crust:

  • In a large bowl, mix flour and salt together. Using a pastry cutter or fork, work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add ice water, 1 Tbsp at a time, until the dough just comes together (around 5 Tbsp). Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Filling:

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. In a large bowl, combine strawberries, rhubarb, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Then, add cornstarch, flour, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Mix well and set aside.

Crumb Topping:

  • In another bowl, mix flour and brown sugar together. Using a fork or pastry cutter, work the butter into the mixture until it forms coarse crumbs.

Assembly:

  • On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a large rectangle, slightly larger than your sheet pan. Transfer the dough to the sheet pan by loosely wrapping it around your rolling pin and then unrolling it over the pan. Gently press the dough down into the baking sheet, leaving about 1/2” of overhang. Tuck the extra dough underneath to create a thick crust edge, and then crimp the edges.
  • Pour the filling into the crust, spreading it evenly. Top with the brown sugar crumb mixture, spreading it over the filling.
  • Bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. Then, reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and bake for another 40-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. If the edges brown too quickly, cover them with foil.
  • Let the bars cool before cutting into squares. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.
Keyword Rhubarb
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