I’ve had these on my mind for awhile. The perfect marriage of tart & tart, lemon and rhubarb were made for each other. All you need to do here is chop fresh rhubarb (fairly finely, or at least not in enormous chunks – go for the size you might cut celery to add to a salad) and scatter it over a baked shortbread base before pouring the lemon filling on top. Those thin red stalks of tender rhubarb are perfect here.
My standard shortbread base has half the butter of a traditional one – generally it’s 1/2 cup butter to 1 cup flour, and I use 1/4 cup butter to a scant cup of flour. (It’s easy and almost instantaneous in a food processor.) The result is a crumbly mixture that doesn’t appear to be moist enough to work, but pat it into the pan and it totally does.
It will crack a bit as it bakes – that’s OK. You won’t notice one bit once the filling is poured overtop. And that trimming of just 1/4 cup of butter equals about 44 grams of fat and 400 calories. So why not? You’ll never notice the difference.
I cut these while they were still a little warm – everyone was outside waiting for dessert. The secret to cutting gooey, sticky-filled bars like this cleanly? Freeze them first. Then flip them out of their 8″x8″ pan onto a cutting board and cut into neat squares or bars. Set them on a serving tray and they’ll thaw in about 20 minutes. Everyone will ask you how you cut your bars so cleanly.
I’ve decided to share a few links to rhubarby things that have been inspiring me lately. If you’re looking for inspiration for your ginormous rhubarb plant, or that healthy, ruby-red one down the alley your neighbours seem to be neglecting, Gwendolyn has some pretty tasty looking rhubarb pudding cakes, Tara has a lovely rhubarb story, and Simple Bites served up a rhubarb upside-down cake.
And Lottie + Doof have an absolutely heart-stopping rhubarb raspberry crostata that has just shot to the top of my must-make list.