Wednesday, May 14, 2014

rye-rhubarb bars.

Saturday morning I woke up early to go to the DMV to finally turn myself in an official New Jersey resident (this moment is seven years in the making).  

Let's just say it was an epic fail.  

The morning would have been considered an utter waste if it wasn't for the fact that my favorite farm returned to the farmer's market in our park.  He also brought the most beautiful stalks of rhubarb that I have ever seen.  

I squealed and then I proceeded to purchase three pounds.  In hindsight I wished I had purchased 5 pounds but I imagine there will be more this weekend.  (I hope.)  

I knew after seeing these posted on Smitten Kitchen, that the second I got my hands on some rhubarb, they would be the first thing I made.  That promise held true as I set to work early Sunday morning to bake them.  As Deb mentions on her blog, these somehow manage to be both breakfast and dessert at the same time which is a win-win in my book.  I adapted these a little to suit my current tastes.  Swapping the white flour for rye flour since I love a extra level of nuttiness is fruity desserts, omitting the strawberries if favor of only rhubarb since I like allowing rhubarb to shine with out the crutch of strawberries, and adding in some spices (cinnamon! ginger!) since spices are always a welcome addition. The final product is something that is absurdly appropriate for spring. Served with vanilla ice cream it would make for a mighty fine dessert and if served with yogurt you have my kind of breakfast which means rhubarb can be consumed morning, noon, and night.   

Rye-Rhubarb Bars
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes 9 bars

1 cup (80 grams) rolled oats
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (80 grams) rye flour
1/2 cup (95 grams) light brown sugar
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon table salt
Heaped 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional, but helps firm up the filling)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
2 tablespoons (30 grams) granulated sugar
2 cups (250 grams) small-diced rhubarb (from about 5 medium stalks)
1 tablespoon dark or light brown sugar

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. For easy removal, line bottom and two sides of 8-by-8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. No need to bother (and no greasing needed) if you plan to serve them right in the pan, as I did.

Place the rhubarb, cornstarch, lemon juice, and granulated sugar in a bowl and stir to combine.  Allow the mixture to macerate while you make the crust.

Place oats, flour, brown sugar, salt and baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger, 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.

Dump the fruit over the crust and spread it out so it’s in an even layer. Scatter reserved crumbs over fruit, sprinkle with the dark brown sugar, and bake bars for 30 to 40 minutes (firmer fruits will take longer), until fruit is bubbly and crisp portion is golden and smells toasty and amazing.

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

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