Lately, it seems like each visit to the market, I come home with about a dozen stalks of rhubarb. Sure, I love the tart fruit that makes drinks taste so much more awesome, that helps put brown butter to good use, lends a hand towards a fine chutney, and makes a strawberry crumble or a pudding cake sing. But as a completely visual aside, I like how the stalks pop out of my tote bag and can picture them with googley eyeballs joining me along on my journey back home.
Safe and sound.
Or not. Off with their heads!
When I spied these rhubarb ginger bars over at eat make read, I couldn’t wait to make them. They seemed way less labour intensive than the brown butter ginger bars I tried last year but similar to the cranberry lemon squares I’ve made in the past. However, I waited too long. The dozen or so rhubarb stalks were whittled down to 5. No matter! I decided to sub in another fruit. Strawberries or raspberries would be a wonderful option, but I had neither. I did find a half bag of cranberries in my freezer so I went with it. These bars would be tart ones, no doubt.
Luckily, the combination of 2 tart fruits (with enough sugar to sweeten the deal) created a winning square! I should add that a buttery crumble topping didn’t hurt things either. The ginger isn’t too strong, so if you’re not sure about the ginger, leave it out. Or double it up if you want more of a ginger jolt. I served these over a busy weekend of entertaining and everyone raved.
Now, about those holidays….this summer, we’re planning a road trip down to Portland, OR and then across the midwest until we head up to Ontario to visit my 2 new nieces and hang out with family (it will be my first trip back home since my mom died 2 years ago, so I’m super excited!). Instead of going back through Canada, which we’ve done before, we’ll head back through the more northern states…and that part is still super fuzzy (which is why I left it off the map). It’s fun figuring out a route using google maps, but we’re certainly open to ideas and options! Our trip will be done on the cheap with lots of camping and picnics, but I’d love to hear your favorite cute towns, best thrifting, most awesome brew pub or yummiest breakfast/ice cream/donut/etc. Also, best hikes and cool, crazy art…like I hear the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho are awesome for hiking & camping! And this piece in the New York Times makes me want to visit the “Enchanted Highway” in North Dakota to view amazing folk art sculptures! I’m also pretty sure we’ll end up in Louisville, KY and Ann Arbour, MI for a stop. So if you’ve got some recommendations, send them my way! Leave a comment with your tips and suggestions!
elsewhere: I don’t stop with the rhubarb love….over at Poppytalk get your double dose of rhubarb with some double ginger rhubarb crumble. It’s pretty fantastic and if I can brag for a bit, my photos turned out super lovely too!
rhubarb cranberry crumb bars
(adapted from eat make read)
1 c brown sugar
1 t baking powder
2 c all-purpose flour
1 c oats
1/4 t salt
zest of 1 lemon
1 c cold unsalted butter
2 c rhubarb, sliced into 1/2″ pieces
2 c fresh or frozen cranberries
2 T fresh ginger, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon
3/4 c sugar (you can add a full cup of sugar if you like a sweeter bar)
4 t cornstarch
Preheat oven to 375F. Butter an 9×13″ pan.
Prepare the dough by combining everything but the egg into a large bowl. Cut the butter into the flour/oat mixture using a pastry cutter or your hands until large crumbs form. Add in the egg and work that into the mixture. Dough will be crumbly. Pat half of the dough into the pan.
In a large bowl, mix together all the topping ingredients. Spoon the fruit mixture evenly over the dough. Crumble the remaining dough over the fruit layer. Bake for 45 minutes. Cool completely and then cut into squares.