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
- 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
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.