It’s been a few weeks since my last post, but I am back from vacation and ready to bring you some more great recipes!
This weekend finally felt like spring in New England, the perfect time for a rhubarb focused dessert. Left with some extra rhubarb from this apple rhubarb pie, I decided to put a twist on one of my grandma’s favorite dessert.
As my grandma grew older, there were few things she would eat. These almond raspberry bars happened to be her absolute favorite. The only problem was that she refused to eat anything that contained fat.
So naturally, my sister and I told her that they were fat-free. Somehow she was convinced (I definitely pulled the dietitian card!). Although she wouldn’t eat many things, I always had these bars on hand for her to nibble on.
These Rhubarb Lemon Crumb Bars, my own twist on the original recipe, are a tribute to her.
Begin by making the rhubarb jam. This should ideally be done first since it requires time to cool and thicken. Place the diced rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan.
Over high heat bring the rhubarb mixture to a boil. Once a boil is reached, reduce to low heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the jam has thickened and the rhubarb has cooked down. Set the jam aside and let cool. Do not worry if the jam is a bit lose, it will thicken as it cools.
For the crumb dough begin by whisking the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the softened butter and sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 2 minutes.
Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and lemon zest and cream until mixed. With the mixer on low speed add the flour mixture into the dough. Mix until just incorporated.
Press half of the crumb dough into the bottom of a prepared pan. I detail my go-to method for this here. Spread rhubarb jam over the dough, leaving a ¼ inch border on each side. This prevents the jam from caramelizing and sticking to the sides of the pan.
Crumble the other half of the dough over the jam. Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack while you make the lemon glaze.
For the glaze, whisk the powdered sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl. Sifting the powdered sugar ensures that the glaze will be smooth and free of lumps. If you prefer a thicker glaze add more powdered sugar until the desired consistency is reached.
Drizzle the glaze over the cooled bars. This glaze will partially sink into the bars when hardened but should still be slightly visible. You may not see the glaze but you will definitely taste it 🙂
Once the glaze has hardened, slice the bars into 16 pieces and serve. I hope you enjoy these bars as much as my grandmother did!
- 2 cups diced rhubarb
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- Juice from ½ lemon
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup light or dark brown sugar , packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup powdered sugar , sifted
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Place the rhubarb, sugar, and lemon juice in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the jam has thickened. The jam will continue to thicken as it sets.
Preheat oven to 350ᵒF. Line an 8 x 8 pan with aluminum foil and grease.
In a medium bowl whisk the flour, oats, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder.
In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 2 minutes. Add the egg yolk, vanilla, and lemon zest and beat until combined.
With the mixer on low speed slowly add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Mix until combined.
Press half of the crumb dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Evenly spread the cooled rhubarb jam over the dough leaving a 1/4 inch border on each side. Crumble the other half of the crumb dough over the jam. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool bars on a wire rack.
Whisk the powdered sugar and lemon juice together until smooth. Drizzle over cooled bars and set aside to harden.
Slice into 16 and serve! Store on the counter for 3 days. For longer storage place in the refrigerator.
- If the lemon glaze is too thin, add more confectioners sugar until the desired consistency is reached. This glaze will sink into the bars and will only be slightly visible on the top, but you will surely be able to taste it!
- Sifting the powder sugar ensures that the glaze will be smooth and free of lumps.