Remember that luscious rhubarb berry jam I made last week? Well, we’ve been enjoying the heck out of it here at Chez SGCC. I’ve slathered it on homemade bread, spooned it into creamy yogurt and cooked it into a few tasty recipes. I also baked some into these delectable Rhubarb Berry Crumb Bars, which have spoiled me forever. From now until the end of time, every other crumb bar that I put past my lips will pale in comparison. That’s how incredibly good these are.
I adapted the recipe for these bars from the one for Blueberry Almond Crumble Bars that I wrote about a few years ago. The original recipe used whole berries. I thought about doing the same with these, but I wanted to get that deeply concentrated fruity flavor that only comes with slow cooking the fruit down into a thick, jammy pool of goodness. Besides, the whole point of me making the jam in the first place was to extend the life of that beautiful and rarely found rhubarb I managed to get hold of.
If you’re so inclined, you can find lots of recipes for various different kinds of crumb bars around the web. Some have cakey bases; some are like brownies. My crumb bars have a more of a cookie crust – like a shortbread. A crunchy, buttery and delicious shortbread. And, the genius thing about it is that the same dough for the base is also used to make the crumb topping. I love when I can kill two birds with one stone. Um…wait a minute. While lots of fruit was pulverized and butter was creamed, no birds were killed in the making of these crumb bars. Just want to be clear on that. No need to get the folks from PETA all in a twist.
These rhubarb berry crumb bars are ridiculously easy to make, and require no electrical equipment – except for an oven, that is. All you really need are a big bowl, a fork and a pan to bake them in. That means you can whip up a batch before you sit down to dinner, and have them ready to enjoy by the time you’ve finished doing the dishes. And, who wouldn’t love a good crumb bar to keep you company during a riveting episode of America’s Got Talent?
Rhubarb Berry Crumb Bars will keep at room temperature for a few days in an airtight container, although they probably won’t last that long. If you want to hide save some for later, they can also be frozen. I actually liked them better chilled.
Rhubarb Berry Crumb Bars
adapted from Allrecipes.com
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter
- 1 egg
- Pinch of salt
- Zest of one lemon
- 2 cups Rhubarb Berry Jam or another jam of your choice
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9×13 inch pan.
- In a medium bowl, mix together 1 cup sugar, flour, and baking powder. Add in salt and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry blender to incorporate the butter and egg. The dough will be crumbly. Pat half of the dough evenly into the buttered pan, and set aside the rest.
- Spread the jam evenly over the dough in the pan. Crumble remaining dough over the jam.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until top is a light golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
Makes approximately 24 bars.