Rhubarb Curd Bars

24 Jun

As soon as the first of the asparagus in my garden starts popping up, and the wild leeks and fiddleheads appear at August Restaurant, I start to get excited. I love seeing all the different fruits and vegetables come into season and enjoying them while they’re truly at their best.

Right now, it’s rhubarb time. When my chef gave me a bag full of lovely pink stems I may or may not have been over the moon with glee.

What to do with Rhubarb? I decided to attempt rhubarb curd…I’m so sick of the typical rhubarb recipes. I succeeded. I made it into bars….I ate some….it was marvelous.

The beauty of rhubarb is that it’s so nice and tart, the curd still has that tangy kick just like lemon curd, but better!

These bars are so pretty too!

It’s easy; all it takes is a simple shortbread-like crust and a layer of rhubarb curd. Little bit of whisking, little bit of baking: you’ve got rhubarb curd bars.

The recipe for the curd makes more than you will need for these bars. You can:

a) eat said curd with a spoon and not think twice about it.

b) freeze for some sort of half ice cream/half sorbet frozen miracle in a bowl.

c) wait for my next rhubarb post to see what I did with it. Can you wait that long? TRY!

Rhubarb Curd

acquired from Lara Ferroni

400 g rhubarb (about 10 to 15 stalks)
1/3 cup sugar

6 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
1 tsp lemon zest (optional)
50 g unsalted butter, cut up into chunks

Wash and chop rhubarb into 1/2 inch chunks. Stir the rhubarb and 1/4 cup of sugar together and let sit for about 10 minutes. Place in a medium sized pot with about 1/4 cup of water and cook over low heat until you can no longer see whole pieces. Turn off the heat and let cool to room temperature. Blend to a smooth puree. If you are making the bars, pause at this point to make and bake the crust.

In a double boiler (or a bowl over boiling water), whisk the egg yolks, remaining sugar and salt. Whisk until well combined and warm. Add about 1 cup of the stewed rhubarb and the lemon zest. Keep stirring until the mixture is warm again. Check for taste and add more of the pureed rhubarb until you get the desired flavor and color. Remove from heat and stir in the butter chunks.

If you are not using the curd immediately, let it cool to room temperature and then store refrigerated for up to a week.

This recipe makes more curd than you’ll need for the Rhubarb Bars.

Rhubarb Bars

4 ounces butter, room temperature

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
about 1/2 of the Rhubarb curd recipe from above
Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Place the butter, flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a mixer. Start on low speed (to keep the flour from flying everywhere), stir until it resembles course crumbs. Then increase speed slightly and continue to mix until a soft dough forms. Ta-da!

Take the dough and press it into a 9″ x 5″ baking dish. Let rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes, and then bake until it is lightly golden, about 20 minutes. While the dough is baking, finish preparing the curd.

Pour the enough curd onto the crust to make a layer a little less than 1/4 inch thick, and bake for another 10 minutes, until the curd has set. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate if desired (it’s easier to slice when chilled, but not necessary). Dust with powdered sugar before slicing if you’d like.

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One Response to “Rhubarb Curd Bars”

  1. Marc June 27, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    I can attest to this pies deliciousness, as I was fortunate to devour the first slice. That’s right, the very one pictured!

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