I've usually only used rhubarb in combination with other fruit, but was interested in trying out an application that let the vegetable (yup, it's a vegetable related to buckwheat!) speak for itself. As I paged through my copy of the Rosie's Bakery All-Butter, Cream-Filled, Sugar-Packed Baking Book, I came across a recipe of theirs for Rhubarb Bars. Nothing fancy, no other fruit, just a simple shortbread crust, piled high with fresh rhubarb in a light egg-flour custard. I modified Judy Rosenberg's recipe by adding vanilla and whole wheat flour to the base, dried pineapple sage to the filling and showering the lot with a handful of rolled oats for contrast. I brought them to a potluck with the slight concern that they'd be too sour for the host's two young children, but they were the first two to grab a piece and dig right in with thumbs up! That said, these are sweet (they are dessert!) but not too sweet, and I think they'd probably be a fantastic addition to any Summer gathering.
Rustic Rhubarb Squares
Makes 12 bars
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3.5 oz non-hydrogenated shortening
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 tbsp water
1 egg white, for glazing
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups diced rhubarb
1 1/2 tbsp crumbled dried pineapple sage leaves (optional)
2 tbsp thick cut rolled oats
- Preheat the oven to 350F and generously grease an 8" square pan.
- In a coffee grinder, process the sugar to a fine powder. Add to a bowl with the flour and nutmeg.
- Add the shortening and blend with a fork or pastry blender until crumbly, then add the vanilla and water and mix until the dough comes together.
- Press into the bottom of the pan and brush generously with the egg white.
- Bake 25 minutes. Remove from oven (leave oven on) and place into the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat together the egg, sugar, flour, and salt.
- Add rhubarb and pineapple sage and toss to incorporate completely.
- Spread evenly over the base and sprinkle with rolled oats.
- Bake for 50 minutes.
- Cool to room temperature, then cover and chill at least 2 hours before cutting and serving.
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 8.3 g
Cholesterol: 15.4 mg
Sodium: 20.1 mg
Total Carbs: 26.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.0 g