For the past three years, Spring for me has been defined by the appearance of rhubarb in the farmer’s market near my house. It throws me into a frenzy, because it’s only in season for a short amount of time, and there are always so many recipes I want to make with this weird little vegetable. So when I saw a tweet from St. Lawrence Market a couple of weeks ago that some early spring “forced” rhubarb (i.e. that grew in a greenhouse) had hit their shelves, you best believe I hopped down there on my lunch hour to pick some up.
I consulted my bookmarks and lo and behold, I have had this recipe for Rhubarb Crumb Bars saved since June 14, 2009, which was the first Spring I really got into baking with rhubarb. It has a thin, soft, buttery layer of cake at the bottom, a layer of rhubarb in the middle, and a crunchy brown sugar streusel on the top. I shared half of it with my co-workers and stuck the rest in the freezer as a treat for my parents when they get home from Florida!
Rhubarb Crumb Bars
Source: Martha Stewart
Yield: 1 8×8 pan, 16 squares
6 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour
8oz rhubarb, diced in 1/2″ pieces (I would actually use more next time)
1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), room temperature
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350, and line an 8×8″ square baking pan with foil. Spray the foil with non-stick spray.
- For streusel, in a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, sugar and salt, then add flour and mix in with a fork until large clumps form. Stick in the fridge while you make the cake.
- For rhubarb, in a medium bowl, toss the rhubarb with the flour and brown sugar until coated and set aside.
- For the cake, in a large bowl, cream together the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in eggs one at a time, then blend in vanilla. Add flour, baking powder and salt, and stir in until everything is smooth.
- Spread the cake batter in the pan, and smooth into an even layer with an offset spatula. Sprinkle rhubarb over top, and then crumble the streusel over the rhubarb.
- Bake for 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool completely in pan, then lift out and slice into squares.