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Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

I have always loved rhubarb (well as an adult! My mum reminded me I hated it as a kid), but I had never baked anything with it, until now. I saw it at the farmers market so I got some, along with some strawberries and came across this recipe on The Iron You. These bars use whole wheat (or wholemeal) flour and have very little sugar making them a healthier treat than most. The sweet strawberry pairs perfectly with the tart rhubarb and the rolled oats topping finishes it off nicely.

Ingredients: Makes 20 2-inch bars

Dough:

¾ + ½ cups / 60 + 40 gr  rolled oats
1 & ½  cups / 120 + 60 whole wheat flour
½ cup / 3.2 oz / 90 gr firmly packed brown sugar
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
zest of half lemon
½ cup (1 stick) / 4 oz / 113 gr butter, at room temperature
1 large free-range organic egg

Filling:

2 cups / 7.76 oz / 220 gr rhubarb, diced
2 cups / 11.7 oz / 332 gr strawberries, halved
juice of half lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup / 1.6 oz / 45 gr firmly packed brown sugar
4 tablespoons arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F (180°C) and place a rack in the middle. Lightly butter a 9x13-inch baking dish. Set aside.

2. In a medium bowl mix lemon juice, vanilla, ¼ cup of brown sugar and arrowroot powder (or cornstarch). Gently mix in the rhubarb and strawberries. Set aside.

3.In a large bowl, mix together 1 cup whole wheat flour, ¾ cup rolled oats, ½ cup brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the lemon zest. Add butter and eggs and work the mixture until a dough forms (it should be quite dense and moist).

3. Pat 2/3 of the dough into the prepared pan in an even layer. Spoon the filling in an even layer over the dough.

4. Add to the remaining ⅓ of the dough, ½ cup of rolled oats and ½ cup of whole wheat flour and work them into the mixture using your hands (or a pastry cutter) until you end up with crumbly, pebbly dough (if not add more rolled oats until you get it).

5. Sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over the filling. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the crumb layer is golden brown. Let cool before slicing with a sharp knife (refrigerate overnight for best results).

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