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Easy Rhubarb Bars

There are few foods that shout “IT’S FINALLY SPRING!” more than rhubarb. These easy rhubarb bars are a delicious treat to celebrate the coming of warmer months.

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The Story

Most of my recipe posts come with a story about how a recipe came to be in my life. I tell you why it is special to me and why I love it.

These rhubarb bars have a lot less fanfare around them. My mom got the recipe from her boss last year and made them. I thought they were delicious. So now I’m telling you about them. No long, rich history here. Just a dang good bar.

I will tell you that the photo she sent of the recipe is from a newspaper clipping where it states the original recipe came from “Buttercups and Brandy”, the Junior League of Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Iowa.

They call it a rhubarb custard pie. I think it is more of a bar. Go with what you feel on that one.

easy rhubarb bar recipe rough and tumble farmhouse

Ingredients & Supplies for Making Rhubarb Bars

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 4 eggs, whisked up
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 3 Cups Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Cups chopped rhubarb- for me this was about six stalks but will depend on the size of them

Supplies

  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Small Mixing Bowl
  • Whisk
  • Rubber Spatula
  • 13×9 pan

When can I harvest rhubarb?

Like all vegetables, once rhubarb has bolted the flavor will be more bitter and less sweet. Contrary to popular belief, you can harvest rhubarb well into the summer as late as July. After that let the plant rest. It is true that additional oxalic acid makes its way from the leaves to the stalks as the season goes on. However, the amount of rhubarb you are consuming in a slice of pie or some jelly isn’t going to cause you any harm.

If it still worries you, harvest extra rhubarb in the spring and stash it in the freezer to use as you like.

How to Harvest Rhubarb

To harvest rhubarb, select large, red stems. Do not harvest the very thin stalks unless that is all you have. Only harvest a few stems at a time from each plant so you do not stress it.

Rhubarb stems should be pulled out with a steady pull/twist motion. This does not damage the plant. It is believed that by cutting the stems you leave an open area susceptible to rot.

I have friends that only cut their rhubarb and they have enormous plants, so either way you are probably fine. I stick with pulling mine.

Remove and compost the top leaves.

How to Make Easy Rhubarb Bars

The Crust

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix together two cups of flour, the powdered sugar, and all the butter. I used a pastry cutter for this. Combine until you get coarse crumbs.

Using the butter wrapper, grease a 13×9 pan.

Press the flour/sugar/butter mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan.

Bake for 15 minutes, then allow to cool to room temp. If your crust hasn’t come together, bake for an additional five minutes.

shortbread crust rough and tumble farmhouse

The Filling

While the crust bakes you can work on the filling!

Wash, trim, and chop the rhubarb into small pieces. You can choose if you want bigger hunks of rhubarb or smaller ones. If you make them too small they will all melt down and disapear into the bars. I went with about half inch pieces.

Combine the beaten eggs, sugar, and flour in a bowl using a whisk.

Next, fold in the rhubarb until well blended.

Pour this mixture overtop of the crust, then bake approximately 30 minutes.

The bars are done when they are set, but the middle still is just a little wiggly.

If your bars aren’t set by 30 minutes, cover the edges with tinfoil and bake another five minutes. Check the bars, if not set, add another five minutes.

Chilling

These bars are delicious when they are warm, but they especially sing when eaten cold.

Allow them to cool to room temperature, then place in the fridge for a minimum of six hours for them to set entirely.

slice of rhubarb bar

Storing Rhubarb Bars

These will keep well in the fridge for up to a week. If you aren’t able to scarf them all down in that time, they freeze very well! I like to put them on a paper plate, then inside a freezer ziploc.

You could also layer them in a freezer container, placing a sheet of wax paper between the stacked bars so they don’t stick to each other.

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easy rhubarb bar recipe rough and tumble farmhouse

Easy Rhubarb Bars

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 12

Equipment

  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • Small Mixing Bowl
  • Whisk
  • Rubber Spatula
  • 13×9 Pan

Ingredients
  

Crust

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Cup Butter

Filling

  • 4 eggs whisked up
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 Cups chopped rhubarb- for me this was about six stalks but will depend on the size of them
  • 3 Cups Sugar

Instructions
 

Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Using a pastry cutter or fork, combine two cups of flour, the powdered sugar, and all the butter until you get coarse crumbs.
  • Using the butter wrapper, grease a 13×9 pan.
  • Press the flour/sugar/butter mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then allow to cool to room temp. If your crust hasn’t come together, bake for an additional five minutes.

Filling

  • Wash, trim, and chop the rhubarb into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Combine the beaten eggs, sugar, and flour in a bowl using a whisk.
  • Next, fold in the rhubarb until well blended.
  • Pour this mixture overtop of the crust, then bake approximately 30 minutes.
  • The bars are done when they are set, but the middle still is just a little wiggly.
  • If your bars aren't set by 30 minutes, cover the edges with tinfoil and bake another five minutes. Check the bars, if not set, add another five minutes.

Chilling

  • Allow them to cool to room temperature, then place in the fridge for a minimum of six hours for them to set entirely. They may also be eaten hot if you choose.

Storing

  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week, or in the freezer up to three months.

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