Rhubarb Lemon Bars

Rhubarb Lemon Bars

This rhubarb… it just won’t stop. My own patch is becoming more impressive than I expected, but the stalks are still small and spindly (my theory is that it’s because I coddle and water it, and rhubarb thrives on neglect), but when I sigh with envy over friends’ enormous red plants with umbrella-sized leaves, I remember that the thin stalks are perfect for chopping and stirring into scones, muffins and cakes that resemble the surface of the moon. And lemon bars! Which everyone I know adores, and are made even better, if you can imagine it, with a scattering of pink rhubarb over the base before you add the filling. Double tartness! I make these with cranberries and coconut at Christmas, and it’s one of our favourite things.

Look how teeny those pieces are! The rhubarb, by the way, can be fresh or frozen – my freezer is already half full of this season’s haul. If you do use frozen rhubarb (or berries, or anything else you want to add to batter of some kind), add it frozen, don’t thaw it first – you don’t want it to release its juices before it goes into whatever it is you’re making, and if you add the juice, it will water things down. Add them straight from the freezer unless the recipe tells you otherwise.

Rhubarb Lemon Bars
Rhubarb Lemon Bars

Rhubarb Lemon Bars


July 31, 2019



1/3 cup butter, at room temperature

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

pinch salt


1 cup sugar

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 large eggs

grated zest of 1 lemon

juice of 1 lemon (about 3 Tbsp)

1/2 cup chopped thin rhubarb

icing sugar, for dusting


1Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl or the bowl of a food processor, combine the butter, sugar, flour and salt, blending with a pastry cutter or fork or pulsing in the food processor until well-combined and crumbly. Press into the bottom of a buttered or parchment-lined 8x8-inch pan and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until barely golden around the edges.

2In the same bowl, combine the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice and stir until well blended and smooth.

3Sprinkle the rhubarb evenly over the base and pour the lemon filling over top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and set. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before cutting into squares; freeze them first for a cleaner cut. Once cooled, sprinkle with icing sugar before serving. Makes 16 squares.


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