You are going to love these delicious bars made with homemade rhubarb jam!
Prep Time: 20minutes
Cook Time: 1hour
Servings: 122x3" bars.
Rhubarb Crumb Bars
1/2cupwhole spelt (or whole wheat pastry) flour
4ouncesunsalted butter, plus 1 additional tablespoon, cut into 1/2" chunks and softened to cool room temperature(1 stick/8 tablespoons)
1/4cuppecans, finely chopped
2tablespoonslight (or dark brown) sugar
a large pinch of flaky salt (such as Maldon or fleur de sel)
1 1/4cupsrhubarb jam (recipe below)
1poundrhubarb, sliced into 1/2" pieces(4-5 large stalk)
zest and juice of 1 large orange (or 2 small blood oranges)
1/2vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped
Rhubarb Crumb Bars
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375º. Line an 8x8" square pan with two criss-crossing slings of parchment paper (or heavy duty aluminum foil), leaving a 1" overhang on each side.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flours, sugar, and salt. Mix on low to combine, then, with the mixer running, add 8 tablespoons of the butter 1 piece at a time. Mix for a minute or two until the crust mixture resembles damp sand.
Measure out 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the crust mixture and set it aside. Dump the remaining mixture (about 1 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cuinto the parchment-lined pan, and press the crumbs firmly into an even layer in the bottom of the pan. Place the crust in the oven, and bake until firm on top and golden-brown around the edges, 20 - 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, return the 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the crust mixture to the mixing bowl. Add the oats, pecans, brown sugar, and flaky salt, mixing to combine, then add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, in little pieces, mixing until the streusel clumps together and no butter chunks remain.
When the crust has finished baking, spread the jam over the hot crust in an even layer. Use your fingers to press the streusel mixture into hazelnut-sized clumps, and sprinkle it over the top (don't press the streusel into the jam; it should be loose).
Bake the bars until the streusel turns a deep golden brown, 30 - 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool 20 minutes.
Grasp the bottom-most piece of parchment paper by its handles, and bravely lift the bar out of the pan and onto a cutting board (it may appear to crack, but will stick back together as it cools). Let cool completely.
Peel away the sides of the parchment (they may stick to the jam). Trim away the outer 1/4" from each side, then cut into 12 bars.
The bars are best the first and second day of baking, when the crust is crisp, but will keep for a few days at room temperature, or longer in the fridge.
In a medium saucepan, combine the 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla bean pod and scrapings, orange zest and juice. Over high heat, bring the mixture to a simmer, then dump in the rhubarb. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture has broken down into a thick jam, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool, and remove the vanilla bean. (You can wash it, leave it to dry at room temp, and reuse.) Measure out 1 1/4 cups of jam, and save the rest to enjoy on toast or otherwise.
Rhubarb Crumb Bars are adapted from Baking Illustrated's Raspberry Bars.Rhubarb Jam is adapted from The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook and makes 1 1/2 cups.Nutritional values are based on one of twelve bars.