By now, you’re probably starting to think I’m a rhubarb fanatic. Truthfully – I am! I have come to learn that not everyone (apparently) grew up with a large patch of this tart, but almost entirely dessert item. I love it and every way I try to use it, I end up wanting more. So I will apologize if this is new for you, but bear with me for just one last recipe (this year at least)!
When I put together this bar, I wanted something that encompassed the flavor of a crumble but had the texture of a bar. And I think I nailed it if I do say so myself. The crust is slightly pressed in, a rhubarb jam fills the middle, and then a delicious streusel crumble tops it off!
Cut these into beautiful pieces and enjoy! These bars freeze beautifully, but I don’t know how you will need to freeze any. Enjoy all season long!
Watch how to make these rhubarb crumb bars:
Rhubarb Crumb Bars
For the rhubarb filling
- ½ lb rhubarb
- 2 tbsp water
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean
For the crumb topping
- 1 ¼ cups flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ¼ cups rolled oats
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¾ cup butter, room temperature
For the rhubarb filling
- Clean and dice rhubarb into ¼-inch pieces.
- Add rhubarb, water, and sugar to a three-quart kettle. Scrape seeds from a vanilla bean and add to the mixture along with the bean.
- Cook over medium-high heat, bringing to a simmer and stirring constantly to prevent sticking or burning, about 6-10 minutes. The rhubarb will soften and the water will evaporate, leaving a thick, jam-like filling.
- Remove from heat and let cool.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Line an 8×8 baking dish with an aluminum foil sling. Spray with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Mix together all crumb topping ingredients except butter until incorporated.
- Add the softened butter in pieces and incorporate it into the dry mixture using fingers (you can use a pastry cutter but fingers work very well). Mix until no large pieces of butter remain and the mixture becomes like wet sand in texture.
- Lightly press 2 cups of the dry mixture into the bottom of a prepared pan.
- Spoon over cooled jam mixture and spread evenly.
- Evenly coat top with remaining crumb mixture. Make some large crumb chunks by pressing together crumb in hand (my favorite).
- Place in preheated oven and bake until edges just start to bubble and crumb turns lightly brown, about 30-35 minutes.
- Cool at least 2 hours before serving.