Guys, rhubarb is the shit. You may have noticed that I’m totally strung out on it, and the reason for that is that it is fucking delicious. I love it. I want to eat it every day. In fact, I love it so much that last time I was at the farmers’ market I bought two bunches, in the hopes of making two dishes.
I did not. The recipe I ultimately chose to make required a metric ton of rhubarb – I actually had about a cup and a half less than was called for, not that it made a difference – and the rhubarb I had was pretty fucking paltry. (Plus I may have waited so long to work with it that I had to throw out a few of the sadder stalks. Neither confirming or denying, just … shit happens, okay?) But what I made was, in my opinion, the best rhubarb dish I’ve made thus far.
I have many thoughts about this recipe. (Raise your hand if you’re surprised that I have many thoughts on something.) First of all: it is called a crumb bar, but it isn’t, not really. Although the recipe for the crumb portion is basically the same as Deb’s raspberry breakfast bars (which you may recall I made and filled with jam about a year ago), the rhubarb filling and the insane amount of butter in the crumb (2 sticks!) makes the end result more cakey than bar-y. As you can see in the recipe, Catherine has you create a syrup with cornstarch and sugar to pour over the sliced rhubarb rather than simply cooking the rhubarb with sugar and maybe a thickener of some kind, and I’m pretty sure it’s that syrup fusing with the crazy buttery crust that makes these “bars” too rich and moist to fall under the umbrella of “bars.” It’s a cake. I’m gonna call it a crumb cake. And speaking of the crumb, I am totally over the moon for the crumb part of this recipe specifically. I love how it incorporates oats (and I’m pretty sure the whole wheat flour contributes to that oaty richness of flavor too) – when making my previous two forays into crumble-land, I was sorry that the crumbs did not contain oats. I think that when I make cobbler in future (and let’s not even count how many different names I have just used to describe the same dessert) I will use the crumb from this recipe, because it’s awesome. Even though it got a little soggy. I think that might just be the nature of crumb toppings on fruit fillings.
Notes & Verdicts
Notes: I changed almost nothing except that I didn’t have six cups of rhubarb, I had about 4 1/2. I also was scared of putting 1 1/2 cups of sugar in basically anything, so I reduced it to 1 1/4. I might even reduce down to 1 next time and see what happens.
Verdict: Best rhubarb dish yet. The syrup acts as a unifier, bringing all three layers of this delicious dish together. A keeper. A