In the second April installment of #BakingWithBeth, the all things California theme continues and we’re going with a farmers market special – rhubarb and strawberry almond crumble bars. California has an abundance of produce and farmers markets, so I wanted to highlight all that natural goodness.
The state nut is the almond so it seemed nice to give that delicious little treat a shout out as well with an almond crust and crumble to top the rhubarb and strawberry bars.
It’s the very beginning of rhubarb season, so they’re popping up more and more at farmers markets. They don’t seem to be in groceries stores quite yet, but I imagine you’ll start seeing them more regularly in the coming weeks. For this recipe, I made a trip to the Santa Monica Farmers Market on 2nd to buy rhubarb.
Full disclosure, I was planning on using strawberries from Costco (gasp!) because the pricing can’t be beat. I mean, I fund this entire blog myself as I’m building my own pastry catering business, so I look for good savings. However, on my rhubarb hunt, I passed by the Harry’s Berries stand and sampled one of their gaviota varietals. I was a goner. Gaviotas are a low acid, SUPER sweet strawberries that are amazing! Next thing I know, I’m handing over $8 for a pint of strawberries. They’re incredible! And I suppose worth it for a delicious produce splurge. I purchased my rhubarb and left the market before I was tempted with anything else.
This was my first time baking with rhubarb and it definitely won’t be my last. Especially with the rhubarb and strawberry combo. I’m already brainstorming other desserts. Rhubarb and strawberry macaron, anyone?!? An important thing to note about rhubarb, is that the green leafy bit at the top is poisonous. I just learned that recently. Chop that part right off, and pitch it in the trash/compost bin. 🙂
The almond crust and crumble is one that I adapted from my LA days in the restaurant world. I didn’t have the exact recipe on hand so I had to go a little bit off memory, a little bit off just trying. 🙂 I used the same mix for the crust and crumble and still had leftovers. In the future, I’d look to reduced the quantities by 20%, but if you’re using a larger pan/sheet tray, you might use it all. Also, the almond crumble makes for a nice snack. Healthy, maybe not, but delicious.
These bars ended up being the perfect dessert to take to my friend Spencer’s BBQ. He’s celebrating a return back to Los Angeles, just as I’m about to move away. Burgers, pimento cheese, guac, chips, beers and rhubarb and strawberry almond crumble bars… the recipe for a successful BBQ. 😉
- Jam Thermometer (or a digital thermometer)
If you’re brand new, we have a new recipe that comes out every Thursday. January covered all things Southern cakes: week one/caramel cake, week two/Hummingbird Cake, week three/sour cream pound cake and week four / pineapple upside down cake.
February was all about cookies!! Week five / best chocolate chip cookies, week six / Italian macarons and week seven / chocolate covered alfajores and the final week of the month, week eight / DYI Samoas Girl Scout cookie.
March was everything pi(e)! Week nine/chocolate chip cookie pie with dulce de leche, week ten/birthday mint chocolate chip grasshopper pie, a bonus Pi Day pizza pie, week eleven/Guinness Cottage Pie, and week twelve/cherry hand pies.
April is dedicated to California-inspired recipes started with a week thirteen/chocolate avocado mousse.
If you’re a regular, thanks again for coming back for another #BakingWithBeth recipe! Be sure to follow along Instagram and Facebook and tag #BakingWithBeth so I can see what kind of recipe for adventures y’all have going on.
Have y’all baked with rhubarb before? Or baked something using the delicious rhubarb and strawberry combo?
Rhubarb & Strawberry Almond Crumble Bars
Rhubarb and strawberries with an almond crust and almond crumble topping
Almond Crumble Crust & Topping
- 300 grams all purpose flour
- 170 grams almond flour
- 140 grams powdered sugar
- 120 grams granulated sugar
- 100 grams light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 226 grams butter, cold & cut into 1/2 inch cubes 2 sticks
Rhubarb & Strawberry Jam Filling
- 240 grams rhubarb (six stalks, approx 2 cups)
- 384 grams strawberries (1 pint, approx 3 cups)
- 130 grams sugar
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 10 grams cornstarch (1 TBSP)
Crust & Crumble
In a mixing bowl, mix all dry ingredients on low until combined. Add in cubed, cold butter and mix on low until combined and mixture is pea-like pieces. If necessary, rub together with your hands to finish incorporating butter.
For the crust, take 260 grams of crumble and push down into a glass pyrex dish until the bottom is evenly covered (about a 1/2 inch thick).
Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 14-17 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly crisp. Let cool.
On a sheet pan, evenly spread out the remaining mixture. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes. Every 5 minutes, toss mixture around using a pallet knife. Making sure mixture is not too sandy, and not too thick to make 'rocks'. Tossing every 5 minutes will help evenly brown mixture. Once mixture is golden brown and crispy, remove from oven. Let cool.
Rhubarb and Strawberry Jam Filling
Place fresh chopped rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice and zest in a large sauce pan and cook over a medium heat until the natural juices are released and mixture begins to boil (approx 5-7 minutes).
In a small bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Once rhubarb and strawberries begin to boil, add sugar and cornstarch mixture.
Cook over a medium low heat until mixture begins to thicken and reaches 220 degrees Fahrenheit. Stirring occasionally to make sure mixture at the bottom doesn't burn. Approximately 20-25 minutes.
Once thickened and reached 220 degrees, remove from heat and let cool.
Evenly spread rhubarb and strawberry jam over almond crust. Top with crumble. Bake at 350 degrees for an additional 10-15 minutes.
Let cool. Cut into bars. Serve and enjoy!
For the left over almond crumble, you can freeze it for up to a month to use on other recipes, or reduce the recipe to make less. It's the perfect recipe to use on top of any fruit cobbler!