Elizabeth’s Rhubarb Bars
I like to tell my sons about the first house we bought back in the mid 1970’s– a big old farmhouse on several wooded acres with 350’ of prime lakeshore, just 40 minutes from downtown Minneapolis. We bought it for $29,500! How times have changed! Hubert Humphrey lived across the lake, and we used to watch his helicopter come in on the weekends. I had a huge garden that included rhubarb, asparagus, and raspberries. My Irish neighbor, Elizabeth, was a friendly 90 year old, who loved to go barefoot in summer. She was a great gardener, cook, and willing teacher. I’ve adapted her recipe here to use a food processor. Her wise words: “Take time to take your shoes off, Liz. It's good to stay in touch with the earth.”
3 c. rhubarb, chopped
Juice and zest from one orange (about 1/4 c. juice, 1Tbsp. zest)
1/4 c. water
1 c. sugar (I use raw organic, cane sugar now)
1 c. brown sugar
1½ c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 sticks cold butter, sliced about 1/8”-1/4” thick
1½ c. rolled oats
1/2 c. chopped walnuts, optional
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x9 or 8x10 baking pan or dish.
In a large pot on the stove, bring rhubarb, orange juice and zest, water, and cane sugar to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes, until it starts to thicken. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon. Put into a food processor, add cold butter slices and quick pulse a few times until mixture is a crumbly dough –it should look like a coarse ground meal and if you squeeze some gently in your fist, it will hold together. Return mixture to the bowl and using your hands, incorporate the oats until well blended. If using walnuts, add them now.
Pat half of the crumbly mixture into the prepared pan. Spread the rhubarb mixture over the dough, then top with remaining crumbles. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden.
Recipe created or adapted by Liz Talley, Urban Graze
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