I didn’t understand rhubarb for a long time.
I avoided it. I heard it was bitter and vile and that its leaves were… poisonous?
Jeepers, anyone in their right mind would avoid it.
When I got older, I learned about how mixing contrasts, like something extra sweet (strawberries) with something extra bitter (rhubarb), made for a wonderful combination, but rhubarb still seemed to elude me. Not intentionally, it was just never requested of me and it just never really happened to be around.
As with everything else in the dessert world that could be considered sour or bitter, Trevor is all about rhubarb. Even so, it’s not his favourite pie, and so many years of dating passed without me making him a strawberry rhubarb pie.
Although I could guess what strawberry rhubarb pie might taste like (slightly less sweet strawberry tart?) there was much more to it than I thought once the situation was eventually rectified.
I have a tendency to distill bitter things into just that. It is a “bitter thing”. It’s really a disservice to many ingredients that are much more complex, but I can’t help it. The first thing I notice about bitter things is that they are bitter.
Rhubarb is bitter. But it is also slightly tangy and has it’s own flavour that compliments the flavour of strawberries. Who’dathunk.
So it turns out that I like strawberry rhubarb pie. This recipe isn’t pie, but it’s like easy-mode pie. With crumble. I do love a good crumble.
I wonder what inspired that first person to go, hey, this poisonous plant? Let’s combine its hard, stringy stalks with strawberries and that will probably help out its situation a whole lot.
Some people just have genius in strange combinations of things. Like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Think about that for a moment. While awesome, it’s some serious strangeness, conceptually.
So there you have it, strawberry rhubarb flavour isn’t just slightly bitter strawberries, it’s the Ninja Turtles of pie!
Except more delicious than that sounds… especially when in bar form.
Is turtle pie a thing?
Like, not pecan/caramel/chocolate turtles, but the animal. In a pie.
Nevermind, I don’t want to know, forget I asked.
Strawberry Rhubarb Bars
Adapted from Yin Mom, Yang Mom
For my purposes, I doubled the recipe below and made it in a 9×13-inch pan.
Crust & Topping
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- zest of half a lemon
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold
- 2 cups roughly chopped fresh rhubarb
- 2 cups roughly chopped fresh strawberries
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 6 oz. greek yogurt (I prefer Fage full fat yogurt)
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- juice of half a lemon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with parchment, and lightly grease.
- Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and zest in a bowl and cut in the butter until crumbly. Press 3/4 of the mixture into the prepared dish, and bake for 20 minutes.
- Whisk the eggs, sugar, yogurt, flour, salt, vanilla, and lemon juice together.
- Top the cooled crust with rhubarb and strawberries, and pour the egg mixture over.
- Sprinkle the top with the remaining crust mixture, and bake for one hour.
- Cool completely, remove from baking dish, and cut into bars.