Strawberry rhubarb crumb bars are the perfect treat for spring!
I am one of those people who stores thirty pounds of butter in her freezer and isn’t one bit ashamed to admit it.
(When you bake as much as I do, you have to stock up when the good stuff goes on sale, like Challenge Butter.)
Real, quality butter is an absolute daily part of my life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It yields the best flavor in cakes, it’s the shining star of cookies, and it makes the flakiest pie crusts. And I don’t use it just for baking, it’s always within arm’s reach when I’m cooking too. Let’s face it, butter makes just about everything better.
Like these crumb bars! There’s a simple crumb mixture made mostly of flour, sugar, and butter baked around a filling of fresh strawberries and rhubarb. Slice ’em up and let’s celebrate the return of spring and berry season.
Think strawberry rhubarb pie, except easier, and that’s what you get with these crumb bars. They’re soft on the inside and crispy on top, sweet yet slightly tangy, and altogether completely scrumptious. Plus, they’re perfect for taking on the road, like to a picnic or potluck. Show up with these and your friends and family will love you forever!
They don’t need to know how simple these strawberry rhubarb crumb bars are to throw together, it’ll be our little secret. All they will care about is if there’s enough for seconds.
baking tip:Why I only bake with unsalted butter
Most baking recipes call for unsalted butter instead of salted because the amount of salt in salted butter varies from brand to brand, and there’s no way to really know how much salt you’re getting in a stick. So if you’re following a typical recipe that calls for both salt and butter, and you choose to use salted butter, you could be adding quite a bit more salt via the butter than the recipe requires.
To give myself full control over the amount of salt in my baking, I only buy and use unsalted butter. But if all you have is salted butter, can you substitute it in a recipe? In a pinch, yes. Reduce the amount of salt called for by half, and if possible, taste and adjust as necessary.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars
Crumb base and topping:
- 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (105 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- Zest from 1 orange (optional)
- 1 cup (226 grams, 2 sticks) Challenge unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3 cups (395 grams) sliced strawberries (see Notes)
- 2 cups (260 grams) sliced rhubarb (see Notes)
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish and line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and orange zest. Add the butter and use a fork or a pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the pieces are about the size of peas. Add the beaten egg and continue to blend until combined and mixture can be clumped together with your hand. Press half of the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
- In another bowl, toss together the strawberries, rhubarb, cornstarch and sugar. Dump on top of the crumb base, spreading it out evenly as needed. Use your hands to clump the remaining crumb mixture together and sprinkle evenly over the strawberry rhubarb filling.
- Bake until topping is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling, about 50-60 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing, about 2-3 hours at room temperature or about 1 hour in the fridge. For best results, store in the fridge, up to 5 days.
- Orange zest is an optional ingredient, but I love the added flavor it gives these crumb bars.
- For best results, chop strawberries and rhubarb into 1/2-inch pieces.
- If using frozen rhubarb, do not thaw before using.
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Disclosure: This post is part of a contest to become a future Challenge Butter brand ambassador. Challenge Butter is a brand I believe in and use on a daily basis, and I would love to work with them. Thank you for supporting my partnerships with brands, which makes Completely Delicious possible. All opinions are always 100% my own.