Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars from the Smitten Kitchen

I am not a rhubarb fan. My experience with rhubarb has been stringy, sour and generally unpleasant. But I live in the rhubarb capital of the Pacific Northwest. It's available in abundance up here, and when I saw Smitten Kitchen's posting for a strawberry rhubarb crisp that you put together in one pan, I thought it would be worth a shot. Oh my goodness...I'm so glad I tried it! These bars are delicious and so easy to make! If you're scared of rhubarb, try these! They are moist, crunchy, sweet without being overly tooth-achingly sweet and are amazing with vanilla ice cream on top. Delicious!

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp Bars (via the Smitten Kitchen)
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon table salt
Heaped 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional, but helps firm up the filling)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
1 cup small-diced rhubarb (from about 1 1/2 medium stalks)
1 cup small-diced strawberries
Powdered sugar, for decoration, if desired

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Place oats, flour, brown sugar, salt and baking soda in bottom of baking pan and mix. Pour melted butter over, and stir until clumps form. Set 1/2 cup of this crumble aside. Press the rest of the crumb mixture evenly in the bottom of the pan.

3. Spread half the fruit over the crust. Sprinkle it evenly with cornstarch, then lemon juice, and 1/2 tablespoon of granulated sugar. Spread remaining fruit over this, and top with second 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Scatter reserved crumbs over fruit and bake bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until fruit is bubbly and crisp portion is golden.

4. Let cool in pan and cut into squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired. Store leftovers in fridge.

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