Source: Aïda Mollenkamp, Food Editor, CHOW (May 3, 2008).
This recipe was demonstrated at CUESA's Market to Table programs on May 3, 2008.
These simple shortbread bars have all the sweet and tart flavors of rhubarb pie sans the fussiness of pie crust, and you can still serve them topped with ice cream.
Makes 24 bars
1 1/2 pounds rhubarb stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
2 cups granulated sugar
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks frozen unsalted butter (8 ounces)
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup whole unsalted almonds, toasted
- Combine rhubarb and 1 cup sugar in a medium nonreactive saucepan over medium heat, stir to combine, and cook until rhubarb releases some juices, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb is soft and just starting to fall apart, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove to a bowl and let cool.
- Combine flour, remaining 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Grate butter on the large holes of a box grater, add to flour mixture, and, using your fingers, rub together until it just holds together when squeezed, about 3 minutes. Add yolks and combine with your fingers until dough comes together in large, fist-sized chunks when squeezed, about 1 minute (dough will still be crumbly). Shape dough into a flat disk, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. (Recipe can be made through this step up to 1 day ahead of time.)
- Heat oven to 375°F and arrange rack in middle. Coarsely chop almonds and set aside.
- Evenly crumble chilled dough over bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, then firmly press into dish using your fingers or the bottom of a measuring cup. Sprinkle almonds over and press lightly into dough. Using a slotted spoon, evenly spread cooled rhubarb over base. If you have any remaining syrup, pour up to 1/3 cup over the top. Bake until dough is brown and rhubarb mixture is bubbly around edges, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool completely before cutting.
FEATURED INGREDIENT: Rhubarb
Rhubarb is available at several farms in the market starting from April and continuing through November.
- Good source of magnesium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, potassium and manganese.
- Extremely acidic and best if prepared with a sweetener during cooking or, less frequently, with something rich and savory to contrast its intense, tart flavor.
- Excellent in pies and desserts, especially when paired with sweet fruit like strawberries.