Recipe | "Strawberry-Rhubarb Bars with Almond Crust" by Sue Ready

Cook's Notes: Pair your favorite pie filling with a yummy, buttery, almond crust. As a time saver the sauce can be made the day before or use a shortcut of a 10 oz. jar of strawberry-rhubarb preserves. - Sue Ready
 
Filling Ingredients:
  • 2 cups diced rhubarb and 2 cups diced strawberries 
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • ½ cup water 
  • 1 TB. Grand Marnier 
  • ½ TB. lemon juice 
  • 1 TB. grated orange or lemon zest 
  • 1/2 tsp. Saigon cinnamon

Filling Directions:
  • In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water, stir to dissolve. 
  • Add rhubarb and simmer on low 15 minutes,. Add in strawberries, cinnamon, lemon juice, zest and cook 10 minutes longer. 
  • Remove from heat and add in Grand Marnier. 
  • Puree in blender or pulse a few times in blender keeping in some fruit chunks. 
  • Refrigerate several hours to thicken.

Almond Crust Ingredients: 
  • 4 oz. almond paste from an 8 oz. box (reserve other half in plastic wrap and placed in a zip loc bog to store for another use) 
  • 2 cups flour plus 1 TB. 
  • 1 cup powdered sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp.salt 
  • 1 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract 
  • 8 oz. cold butter, cubed

Almond Crust Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 9 inch glass pan with 2 sheets of foil. The edges will overhang. Make sure the foil corners are pressed in tightly to pan. Spray foil with cooking spray. 
  • Cut almond paste into pieces and place in a food processor with 1 tablespoon of flour. Pulse into crumbs. Add in flour, powdered sugar, salt, baking powder and almond extract. Pulse briefly and add butter cubes in two batches. Process in short pulses until well mixed. The dough will be crumbly. 
  • Reserve 1-1/4 cups of crumb mixture and set aside. 
  • Take remaining crumb mixture and press into an even layer in bottom of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes until crust is puffed and just starting to take on some color. 
  • Carefully spread filling in an even layer over crust layer. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. 
  • Bake 30-32 minutes until filling is bubbly and top crust is golden. Cool to room temperature. Hold foil edges and place bars on a cutting board. Cut bars from foil and place on a plate. Refrigerate 30 minutes to set.
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Sue Ready is a retired middle school teacher, freelance writer, food blogger and creator of The World According to Bella. Sue has visited Rockport several times over the years and is a regular contributor to the WWN! See her other posts here.





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