Thursday, May 9, 2013

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Bars


A few weeks ago, we made the trek to my hometown of McDonough, Georgia to visit my family.  While we were down there, we met my dad and his wife at Southern Belle Farm for some strawberry picking!  Caroline and Smith were both really excited to pick the berries this year: Caroline proclaimed every berry she picked to be "the most perfect strawberry ever," and Smith was very involved in the quality control testing.  We left with two gallons of strawberries and bellies full of homemade strawberry ice cream.

I of course already had more recipe ideas than I did strawberries, and sadly, I barely made a dent in my list.  However, I used the last of the berries to make these strawberry-rhubarb pie bars, and they were definitely a great use of those beautiful strawberries!

I used the base of these blackberry pie bars and adapted the filling to suit the new flavors.  The result was a fantastic dessert:  a buttery crust that transforms into a sweet, custardy filling, with the slightest sour notes from rhubarb, and finally topped with more buttery, crumbly crust.  The crust kind of fades into the filling, creating an ombre of flavor and texture.  Absolutely delicious!

My dad's favorite dessert is strawberry-rhubarb pie, so I feel like I should have waiting to post these before Father's Day, but I guarantee these will be a hit with any moms in your life as well.  Or anyone in your life for that matter!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Bars
adapted from The Pastry Queen's Blackberry Pie Bars
makes one 9x13 inch pan.

Crust and Topping

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
Fruit Filling

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • pinch salt
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz. strawberries, hulled and halved (quartered if they are large berries)
  • 8 oz. fresh or frozen rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch slices
To make the crust and topping, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. 

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse a few times to mix.  Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes, and add to the flour mixture.  Process until the butter is evenly distributed but the mixture is still crumbly, 30-60 seconds.

Reserve 2 cups of the mixture to use as the topping.  Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the pan, and bake 12-15 minutes.  Cool for at least 10 minutes.

To make the filling, whisk the eggs in a large bowl, then add the sugar, buttermilk, flour, salt, lemon zest, and vanilla extract.  Gently fold in the berries and rhubarb and spoon the mixture over the crust.  Sprinkle the remaining flour mixture evenly over the filling, and bake 55 to 65 minutes.

Cool at least 1 hour before cutting into bars, or scoop out of the pan to serve cobbler-style.


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Jessica_AKitchenAddiction said...

Strawberry rhubarb pie is favorite in my family! Can't wait to try the combo in these bars!

Joanne (eats well with others) said...

Aww they are the cutest berry pickers ever!! I can't get enough of the strawberry rhubarb flavor combo (as one might tell from my post today) and I love the idea of putting it in bars like these!

Kelsey Morgan said...

Gorgeous, Josie! The blackberry pie bars are so delicious, but I think you've found a way to make them even better!

Stacy Valentine said...

Can't wait to give these a try - I made a gluten-free/low sugar version of the blackberry pie bars and they were divine!

I'm canning "rhuberry" (strawberry rhubarb) jam this weekend so I'll be sure to save some fresh rhubarb & strawberries for these. Don't think I'll be making the low sugar version though, looking to satisfy my sweet tooth on this one! :)~

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These bars seriously have me EXCITED! Love this idea!

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Subroto Kumar Ghosh said...

I love this recipe ! Reminds me of you making soap at home, Mom.

And it's fun to see photos of your house there and see

Dad in that comfy chair we sat in when we visited,

attempting to use the slow internet :)

I can't wait to hear how the soap turned out in terms

of using it. Does it smell different since it is made with

animal fat? Any other differences from vegetable-based soap?

Love you!

Cheryl Wickstrom Marcham said...

I hardly ever leave comments about recipes, and most people who do haven't made them and just comment about how good they sound, but I actually made these last night and brought them to work today and they were so freaking amazing! Everyone, including those who don't like rhubarb, loved these bars. Thank you soooooo much for sharing this recipe, absolutely fantastic and something that will stay in my recipe box FOREVER!

Sheila Franklin said...

I have these in the oven right now! YUM! Wondering if you think they will freeze okay? Thanks!

Josie said...

Cheryl, I'm so glad you liked them - thanks so much for letting me know! :)

Josie said...

Hi Sheila, I've never frozen them, but it couldn't hurt to give it a try - I'd just flash freeze a few and see how they taste when they thaw. They do keep in the refrigerator quite well though. Hope you enjoy!

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