Rhubarb apple crumb bars

The only thing more sour than rhubarb is a spiteful girlfriend. I baked this to get even with Boyfriend who went out of town for the weekend, alas. Eat your heart out.

Yes I am that petty. I adapted this from the “blueberry crumb bars” in Good Housekeeping Brownies: favourite recipes for Blondies, Bars & Brownies, which is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.

I have a few plans to make this turn out better than the first attempt at a fruit crumb bar, which was a burnt nightmare. I think I can get it right this time.

Good to know before you start: The high butter content will easily burn. To prevent this, cover the entire dessert with tinfoil, bake  30 minutes at a high temperature, then remove tinfoil and bake  an additional 25 min at a lower temperature. This ensure the fruit filling is properly cooked but the topping doesn’t burn.

Time required: 2.5 hrs

Yields: 36 piece

Cost per bar: $1.39

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $41.00

Kitchen implements I used:

  • baking pan: 10.5″ x 14.5″
  • tinfoil
  • KitchenAid mixer
  • pastry blender

Crust ingredients:

  • 1 C butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • ⅔ C icing sugar
  • 1 TSP pure vanilla extract
  • 2½ C flour

Filling ingredients:

  • 4 C rhubarb, washed and diced
  • 4 C tart apples, peeled, cored, and diced
  • ½ C granulated white sugar
  • 3 TBSP powdered corn starch
  • 2 TBSP water

Topping ingredients:

  • ⅔ C quick-cooking oats, uncooked
  • ½ C flour
  • ⅓ C brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ TSP cinnamon, ground
  • ½ C butter, slightly softened  (1 stick)

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 190.5°C / 375°F. Line baking pan with foil.

2. Prepare the fruit and set it aside.

3. Prepare crust: in mixer beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla.

Beat until light and fluffy.

4. Add flour and mix until just combined.

5. Use hands to press dough into baking pan, bake 20 min.

6. Cool on rack 5 min.

7. Meanwhile prepare filling: in a large sauce pan, combine sugar, corn starch, and water.

Add fruit. Bring to a boil over Medium heat, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir often.

8. Meanwhile prepare topping: in a medium bowl stir: oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon.

9. Cut in butter with pastry blender, and blend until you have coarse crumbs.

10. Spread fruit mixture evenly over crust.

11. Use hands to sprinkle topping over fruit.

12. Cover with tinfoil and pierce with fork. Bake 30 min.

13. Remove tin foil after 30 min, and lower temperature to 160°C / 320°F. Bake for an additional 25 min.

14. Cool completely in pan before slicing.  When ready to serve, lift from pan, peel foil off the bottom.  Slice lengthwise into 6 strips, then crosswise into 6 pieces.

Verdict: My plan to taunt Boyfriend failed miserably! This was partially assembled when I found out he would be home at 3:30, right when it finished cooling. Foiled!

I decided to be kind and let him have some.

These were delicious. The crust reminded me of shortbread, very buttery and soft.  The rhubarb and apples were nice and tart. The only thing I’d change is to add two more stalks of rhubarb.

I will retry the apple-only version at some point and believe that if I use the tinfoil trick it should be fine.

Playlist: Sailor Moon Super S movie

I am now convinced anything with rhubarb will turn out awesome and make me feel like a baking super star. What rhubarb dessert is your favourite?

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2 thoughts on “Rhubarb apple crumb bars

  1. Chocoholic says:

    So far I have not like anything with rhubarb as I find it either is too sweet or too sour! (Goldilocks and I had a lot in common!). Nice to see that you’ve mastered this recipe. These looks wonderful.

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