Rhubarb Ginger Bars

After a long, exhausting week, the words floating around my mind refuse to make sense. They are mixed and jumbled, forming incoherent sentences and phrases. I fear my brain is telling me to take a break—and tonight I am going to set the computer down and listen. As a result, I am going to do something I have never done before.

I am going to let the photographs tell the story for you.

Rhubarb Ginger Bars are sweet and tart with a side of spice. Rhubarb is simmered until soft and then blended into a smooth puree. The puree is thickened with egg yolks and cornstarch until it has the texture of a soft and silky rhubarb curd. Baked atop a whole wheat cookie crust, these bars set and cut easily. The hint of ginger adds an undertone to the tart rhubarb. With a dusting of powdered sugar, these bars make for a lovely snack whether they are served warm or chilled.

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Three Years Ago: Simple Rhubarb Jam

Rhubarb Ginger Bars

Yields 16 bars

Whole Wheat Crust
6 tablespoons (85 grams) butter, room temperature
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (60 grams) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment paper and lightly grease.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flours and salt, continuing to mix until uniform. Press the crust evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Set aside.

Rhubarb Ginger Topping
3 cups (360 grams) chopped rhubarb, diced into 1 inch pieces
6 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3 large eggs
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon cornstarch

While the crust bakes, place the rhubarb, 3 tablespoons sugar, and ground ginger into a large saucepan. Over medium-high heat, cook the rhubarb until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool the rhubarb until lukewarm.

In a food processor, place the softened rhubarb and process until smooth. If the rhubarb is more green than pink in color, add a single drop of red food coloring to give the bars a pale pink color.

In another mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon juice, and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar. Gradually add the processed rhubarb and continue whisking until uniform. Whisk in the cornstarch.

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees (160 degrees C).

Pour the filling over the cooked crust and bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is set and no longer moves when the pan is jiggled. The bars will be easiest to cut after chilled (but there's no shame in sneaking a few bites when they are warm).

Serve warm or chilled, with a dusting of powdered sugar.