Rhubarb Bars or Dessert Crumble

I always have rhubarb in the freezer.  I am blessed with a small patch of the delicious vegetable (used as a fruit) growing in my yard and have, by some miracle, managed to keep it alive for the last 37 years.  But as I type the new spring rhubarb is growing ever larger by the day and will be ready to harvest in a few weeks.  With that in mind I thought it wise to use some of the frozen rhubarb before the fresh stuff was ready for eating.

These Rhubarb Bars or Crumble make use of either fresh or frozen rhubarb and produces a nice tangy cookie bar or if served in larger portions makes a nice dessert, especially if served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. 

Rhubarb Bars or Dessert Crumble

Ingredients for filling:
½ cup white sugar, divided
¾ cup brown sugar
4 cups of rhubarb, diced (use fresh or frozen)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla

Over medium heat, cook rhubarb ¼ cup white sugar and all the brown sugar for about 10 minutes or until soft. Stir frequently. Mix corn starch and remaining ¼ cup white sugar together until well blended and there are no visible lumps of cornstarch. Add corn starch and sugar to the hot rhubarb mixture.  Bring to a boil. Stir until thick. Add vanilla. Lay aside and let cool.

While making the crust, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. You may also line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper if you wish to remove the bars from the pan before cutting.

Ingredients for curmble crust:
1½ cups of oatmeal
1½ cups of flour
1 cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup  butter, very soft or melted

Mix ingredients into a crumble.
In an ungreased 9x13-inch pan, place ⅔ of the crumble mixture and pat down. Spread the cooled rhubarb evenly on top. Sprinkle the remaining crumble mixture over the rhubarb. Lightly pat the crumbs in place.  Bake in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes until lightly browned and bubbling. 

Can be served warm as a dessert or let cool thoroughly to make bars or squares.

Makes 30-36 bars or 12-15 dessert portions.

To make the filling, mix the rhubarb, brown sugar and half the white sugar together and bring to a boil.  Mix the cornstarch and remaining white sugar and stir into the boiling mixture.  Cook another minute or two until thickened.  Lay aside to cool while making the crumble crust.

To make the crumble crust, mix the oats, flour, salt, baking soda, brown sugar and melted butter together.  Press ⅔ of the crumble mixture in prepared pan and pat down.  Spread with the cooked rhubarb filling and cover with the remaining crumbs.  Pat down lightly and place in preheated oven to bake until golden brown and bubbling.

Serve as a cookie bar, or . . .

... warm or cold with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Every bite a taste of Spring!


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