strawberry rhubarb bars – al fresco

strawberry rhubarb bars - al fresco / bitebymichelle.com

As the sun starts to slip away and the wind slows to a gentle breeze, the evening allows time for romance. Dining al fresco, at a beautifully adorned table, with simple food and drink, on a glorious summer night…

Strawberry Rhubarb Bars or ‘squares’, depending on what part of the world you hail from, are a country-kitchen favourite. In New Brunswick, rhubarb comes into season weeks before the strawberries are ripe. Given that strawberry rhubarb is such a delicious combination, someone cleverly – not me – thought of substituting strawberry flavoured Jell-O for the cornstarch. The jello acts as a thickening agent and flavour enhancer. I decided to play it safe by cutting back on the strawberry jello and using a bit of cornstarch. I wanted to minimize any artificial flavour. It worked! These bars have just the right amount of tart and sweet worthy of the title Strawberry Rhubarb. 

strawberry rhubarb bars - al fresco / bitebymichelle.com

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB BARS
Makes 9×13 pan

FILLING

3 cups fresh rhubarb, sliced in ½ “ pieces
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 ¼ cups sugar
¼ cup water
1 small package strawberry Jell-O

THE STEPS:

  • Dissolve cornstarch in water
  • Place all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium high heat and cook til thick.

CRUST

1 ½ cup oatmeal
1 ½ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup butter

THE STEPS:

  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.
  • Stir in brown sugar.
  • Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal
  • Pat ¾ of crust mixture into a 9 x 13 inch pan.
  • Pour rhubarb mixture over top.
  • Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over the top.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
  • Cool completely.
  • Cut into squares.

strawberry rhubarb bars - dining al fresco

THE LOVE: Make sure you allow your bars to cool completely before slicing.

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one year ago: root beer barbecue sauce

two years ago: quinoa and chickpea salad

three years ago: beer bread

strawberry rhubarb bars - al fresco / bitebymichelle.com

Thanks for reading.