What a strange time of year — spring is clearly here, and we’ve had some gloriously warm & sunny days! But we’ve also had some very chilly, windy, and rainy ones. It seems to go back and forth, teasing us with warmth, then sending us running back inside with the cold.
This mix of temperatures allows for time with the oven on, though! And turning on the oven inevitably leads to baking for me. This week I whipped up some rhubarb custard bars: a delicious combination of creamy, tangy, and sweet flavours. If you can, try to snag a corner bar, as they get extra caramelization, and are even more delicious.
I found this recipe on a popular baking blog, and made a few tweaks: added some oats to the crust for extra texture and a bump of fibre, halved the sugar in the filling, and added vanilla for an increased depth in flavour. Although these adjustments do make these bars a little more healthy, they’re definitely still a dessert. And that’s okay! There’s more than enough room for desserts in our diets. It’s all about balance: maybe don’t eat the whole tray, but enjoy one or two without guilt, just enjoyment!
They don’t take long at all to whip up, but you do have to have some patience to allow them to fully cool and set. It’s worth the wait, though! Give them a try and let me know what you think.
For the crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup oats
3/4 cup cold butter, cubed
1/4 cup sugar
For the filling
3 large eggs, beaten
¾ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups rhubarb, diced
2 tablespoons icing sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, and sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Pat the crumbs into a well greased 9 x 13 in baking pan. Bake the crust at 350 F for 10-12 min or until lightly browned.
While the crust is in the oven, mix together eggs, sugar, vanilla, flour and salt.
Gently stir in the diced rhubarb. Pour the rhubarb mixture over the hot crust. Return bars to the hot oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling is set and no longer jiggly
Cool for 30 mins on the counter and then refrigerate until chilled before cutting into bars.
Before serving, sprinkle with icing sugar for an extra hint of sweetness and a pretty final touch.
Recipe modified from http://chocolatewithgrace.com/rhubarb-bars/ by Alex Chesney, RD