Rhubarb Custard Bars

RhubarbBox

Chef Heidi Fink is a professional chef, food writer, cooking instructor, and Mom. She recently shared this fabulous recipe for rhubarb, which in turn she credits to Ciara Dooley of Kildara Farms. Now, no one has ever accused me of over-praising rhubarb. Sure, it’s a beautiful vegetable with its deep red stalks and pale green/white flesh. But it always seemed like so much work to tame. Heidi’s recipe convinced me that the trick is to treat rhubarb more like a fruit than a vegetable. The result is this crisp, nutty crust married to a sweet, smooth, sliceable custard, and filled to bursting with tart pieces of rhubarb. You know it’s a success when the kids ask for seconds.

Crust:

1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup whole wheat flour (try whole wheat cake & pastry flour)

½ cup cool butter

½ cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9? x 13? (approx) metal or glass pan.

In a large bowl combine all ingredients.  Mix with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.  The butter should be completely incorporated. (You can use a food processor for this step, if you like.)

Press crumbs (not too firmly, but firm enough) into the bottom of the prepared pan. Press a bit up the sides of the pan as well. Place pan on lower-centre rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 350 F.

RhubarbCustard2

Topping:

1½ cups sugar

3 eggs

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons vanilla

¼ teaspoon salt

1/4 cup whipping cream

4 to 5 cups diced fresh rhubarb, diced small

While the crust is baking, mix the topping ingredients together.  In a large bowl, mix the sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla, salt, and whipping cream, whisking well to eliminate lumps.  Stir in the diced rhubarb. Once the crust comes out of the oven, pour the topping over it (the crust should still be warm).  Return to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until custard no longer jiggles and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean.

RhubardCustard 1

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