Rhubarb Curd Bars
Ok, I realize these Rhubarb Curd Bars are hot on the heels of a Strawberry Rhubarb Yogurt Cake recipe, but I told you I’m obsessed with rhubarb, so I’m not really sorry.
If you try these, you won’t be sorry either.
What we have here is a luscious rhubarb curd – with only just enough sweetness to take the edge off – smoothed over a buttery shortbread crust, in a rhubarb bar that will blow any rhubarb fan’s mind.
I was working from the idea that I wanted a creamy rhubarb bar similar to a lemon bar. I made the recipe several times to get it right, so I promise you will love it.
Some rhubarb curd recipes call for straining out the rhubarb pulp after it is cooked, but I personally love the texture it offers and kept it in (making things simpler, too!). You simply simmer chopped rhubarb stalks with sugar and a splash of water until it breaks down into a smooth sauce, then whisk in lemon juice and eggs. Do this while your easy press-in crust is baking, and you’ll be done in no time.
I love the curd’s muted ruby hue, but the final colour you wind up with will depend on how much pigment is in your rhubarb stalks. Sometimes it turns out a rosy golden, if they’re more green than red. Embrace whatever shade you end up with.
Store leftovers in the fridge – they’re delicious chilled. If you decide to dust with icing sugar, do it right before serving or the sugar will melt into the top.
If you want to make the curd on its own, go for it! Just cook it in the same saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and a thermometer reads 160ºF. Cover and chill before serving.
Rhubarb Curd Bars
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup cold butter cubed
- 24 oz rhubarb from 8-10 stalks, chopped
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- confectioners' sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Whisk flour and sugar together in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender (or your fingers), work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Dump the crumbs into a parchment-lined 9x13" baking pan and use your palms to press it evenly into the bottom (it's super crumbly, but will come together as soon as you start pressing it in). Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden.
While the crust bakes, combine rhubarb, sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until rhubarb breaks down to a sauce - about 15 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk eggs and yolks together in a medium bowl. Very slowly, about a tablespoonful at a time, whisk 1 cup of the rhubarb sauce into the eggs, then gradually whisk the egg-rhubarb mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining rhubarb.
Scrape curd on top of warm crust, spreading evenly to edges. Bake another 30 minutes, until set and slightly puffed (it will still wiggle a bit - it'll firm up as it cools). Cool in pan placed on wire rack. Once at room temperature, dust with confectioners' sugar using a fine-mesh sieve. Store leftovers in the fridge.