Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rhubarb Curd…and Rhubarb-Shortbread Bars

Rhubarb-Shortbread Bars
Recently, I found a recipe shared by my friend Teresa at One Wet Foot.  It was for Rhubarb curd.  I know, it really sounds yummy, doesn’t it?  This year, while my zucchini plants are hovering on death, my rhubarb is producing a bumper crop.  I have already made Rhubarb Strawberry Jam, a Strawberry Rhubarb pie, and will be freezing some to use later in the year. However, after reading Teresa’s post, I knew I had to make some Rhubarb curd.

Oh so good!
Pretty in pink and creamy Rhubarb Curd
Making the curd was pretty straightforward.  Stewing the rhubarb with some sugar and water, then pureeing it to make the curd.  I found several recipes for rhubarb curd. Some tell you to extract the juice, others to puree it. I used the puree method with wonderful results. One modification I made was to add some beet juice (for color) mixed with the water to cook the rhubarb. I wanted to ensure a nice pink color.

These bars are amazing…the shortbread crust melts in your mouth
So now that I have some utterly yummy Rhubarb Curd…how will I use it?  Rhubarb bars of course!
I read that the secret to great curd bars isn’t just the ingredients, but the technique.  Many recipes call for pouring the liquid filling over the unbaked crust.  This recipe I’m sharing, has you pre-bake the crust, pour the warm curd over it, then finish the baking process. The results are melt-in-your-mouth sensational! Pre-baking the crust prevents it from getting soggy or paste like, creating a lovely texture combo.
This was the second time I made these bars. I made a batch to take to my new neighbor for a housewarming party! They were a big hit!

And the rhubarb curd is so creamy and flavorful…you should give them a try!
Freshly picked rhubarb from my garden

Rhubarb Curd 
(makes about 2 cups)

2 cups chopped fresh rhubarb (about 10 stalks)

2 Tablespoons of beet juice (from canned beets, optional) 

¾ cup sugar
6 egg yolks 

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
good pinch of salt 

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Wash and chop rhubarb into 1/2 inch chunks. There is no need to peel, but if your stalks are particularly large, you might trim off any tough parts. Stir the rhubarb and 1/4 cup of sugar together and let sit for about 10 minutes. Place in a medium sized pot with about 1/4 cup of water and the beet juice, then  bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally until the rhubarb has mostly disintegrated, about 15 minutes.  Remove pan from heat and let cool to room temperature. Blend to a smooth puree if you desire (this will remove any remaining little stringy bits, but it isn't necessary).

If you are making the bars, pause at this point to make and bake the crust.

In a double boiler (or a bowl over boiling water) whisk the egg yolks and remaining ½ cup of sugar and salt. Whisk until well combined and warm. Add about 1¼ cups of the stewed rhubarb and the lemon zest. Keep stirring until the mixture is warm again. Cook, beating constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon, until the mixture has thickened enough to loosely coat the back of a wooden spoon (8 to 10 minutes).
Remove from heat and stir in the butter chunks one tablespoon at a time.
If you are not using the curd immediately, let it cool to room temperature and then store refrigerated for up to a week.

Shortbread Crust for Rhubarb Bars
adapted from Joe Pastry

8 ounces soft butter 

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

a pinch of salt
Rhubarb curd  

Powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat your oven to 350  
Combine the crust ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer and mix until a soft dough comes together. Start mixing at low speed and then gradually increase the speed to medium, so that you don’t have flour flying all over. When the dough comes together, press into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Let the crust rest for 10-20 minutes, and then bake it for 20 minutes until it is lightly golden. Then remove from oven and pour enough curd over the crust to make a layer a little less than 1/4 inch thick, and bake for another 10 minutes, until the curd has set.
Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 45 minutes, refrigerate at least two hours or overnight. Dust with powdered sugar. Slice and serve.


  1. These look really delicious Kathy!

  2. HI Kathy, your Rhubarb shortbread bars look very beautiful and yummylicious!!! Must be very addictive too. Thanks for sharing, Kathy and you have a nice day :)

  3. These shortbread bars with rhubarb curd looks to die for!

  4. This is great! And it's nice to know I'm not the only one who can't stop making curds. I really must get some rhubarb for my garden--so many good things to do with it!

  5. Hi Kathy!
    I'm so glad the aspirin "may have worked" please keep me posted:)

    I have never been able to warm up to rhubarb but I must say, you have most definitely tempted me. The color of your bars is just just perfect. (good idea with the beet juice:) I'm not usually successful with bra as they are usually too soggy for my taste but I will remember your tips. Thanks so much for sharing, Kathy...

  6. Dear Kathy, Sounds like a wonderful way to use the rhubarb. Blessings dear. Catherine

  7. Oh my this is such a beautiful recipe...I;ve made so many citrus curds, but never tried rhubarb --- thanks for the inspiration!

  8. These shortbread bars look delicious, very crumbly! And who doesn't love rhubarb :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  9. Oh, Kathy!!! I really want to try these and hope it isn't too late for rhubarb here in the desert. I love rhubarb and I think this combo will replace lemon bars in my life!

  10. Thank you for posting this recipe. My husband's rhubarb is doing well this year, and I always need more ideas for using it!