A crumble bar that tastes just like pie. Say what?! Sweet strawberry and rhubarb jammy filling sandwiched between a buttery shortbread base and crumble topping, seriously, they are amazing. Heartwarming and nostalgic, these Small Batch Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars will have you reaching for another.
The sweet flavours of strawberry combined with the tartness of the rhubarb go together like chocolate and hazelnut! Basically, they are two flavours worth pairing together. Trust me! Another small batch recipe aimed to help those in a low number households during this lockdown. It’s the 8th in my Small Batch Series and one of my favourites. Maybe I say that because of my love for rhubarb, or it's just because I love the ease of making them.
For these Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars, you will need:
For the base:
- Flour: the base ingredient for the crumble base and topping
- Golden Sugar: I use golden sugar, but by all means, sub with white sugar or light/dark brown sugar. The darker the sugar you use, the depth of flavour in the topping will deepen.
- Old Fashioned Oats: provide a beautiful texture, particularly to the topping
- Baking Powder: to provide some lightness to the base and topping
- Salt: cuts through the sweetness. I always add salt to my desserts
- Butter: Helps bind the ingredients together and, once baked, allows the base, in particular, to be flaky and short. The perfect texture.
- Egg Yolk: The main binding agent adds a slight richness to the crumble topping and base. If doubling the recipe, add a whole beaten egg into your mixture.
For the Filling:
- Strawberries and Rhubarb: When baked together, this breakdown and their juices merge to create a sweet, jammy filling.
- Lemon Juice: this helps cut through the sweetness. If you don't have any, then don’t worry; carry on with the recipe.
- Sugar: As the filling cooks, the sugar combines with the fruit to help create the sweet sticky filling. Also needed to offset the sour rhubarb.
- Cornstarch: Helps to thicken the filling. Strawberries contain high water content, and the cornstarch stops them from becoming too watery.
How do you make these crumble bars?
I am such a fan of crumble bars as they combine the tastes of a fruit pie in a really easy manner of making. With no need for pie pastry that requires refrigeration and waiting times. This beautiful crumble bar can be made in only 15 minutes. Quick and easy! We looooove quick and easy desserts around here.
Step 1 Make the crumble base and topping.
Talking of easy - these two separate components are made in one go!
Add your dry ingredients, flour, sugar, oats, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and mix. Add the cubed butter, and with your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the yolk and mix until combined.
Step 2: Make the filling.
Add all the filling ingredients, strawberries, rhubarb, lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch, into a medium bowl and stir to combine.
Step 3: Assemble
Add ⅔ of the crumble filling to a prepared loaf pan. Use your fingertips to press the mixture flat into the pan. This is your base. Then add all the filling onto the base and spread out evenly. Lastly, sprinkle the remaining crumble onto the filling, allowing some of the filling to still show. Then bake for 45 minutes!
Top Tips to make these Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars
- When lining the loaf pan with baking paper. Ensure that the paper hangs over the sides of the pan. Once the bar is cooked and then cooled, having the paper overhang will help you pull the pars out.
- Make sure your butter is cold. Just like pastry, if you use warm butter, when baked, you’ll end up with a greasy base. The cold butter allows for a perfectly flaky crust.
- Cut the rhubarb into ¼ inch slices to ensure it cooks in the allotted time.
- Ensure that you use the freshest strawberries for maximum flavour impact. If your strawbs aren’t at their freshest, then add two tablespoons of strawberry jam/preserve into the fruit filling. This help intensifies the strawberry taste.
- Lots of fruit is good! When you pour the filling on top of the base, it will look like a lot. But trust me, go with it. As the fruit cooks, it will reduce and intensify into jammy goodness!
- Let the bars cool before slicing if you want beautiful clean slices. But if you aren’t fussed about this, tuck right in with a dollop of ice cream (recommended serving suggestion!)
If you like more bar and slices recipes, then make sure to check out the following recipes:
- Chocolate Raspberry Crumble Bars
- Chocolate Hazelnut Granola Bars
- Browned Butter White Chocolate Blondies
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars, Small Batch
Crumble base and topping
- 190 g plain flour (all-purpose)
- 65 g granulated sugar
- 40 g old fashioned rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- 115 g unsalted butter, cold and chopped
- 1 egg yolk
Strawberry rhubarb filling
- 160 g strawberries, hulled and chopped
- 150 g rhubarb, diced 1cm (½ inch) thick
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 50 g granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C(350°F). Grease and prepare a 2lb loaf pan 23 x 14cm(9x5.5inch) with parchment paper allowing the paper to hang over the sides.
- Add the flour, sugar, oats, baking powder and salt into a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the butter and using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour until it resembles dried bread crumbs. Add the yolk and mix it in with your fingertips. You should be able to squeeze the mixture together and it forms into a light ball.
- Pour ⅔ of the crumble mixture into the loaf pan, spread it out into an even layer and press down with your fingertips until it forms a flat base.
- In a separate bowl, add the strawberries, rhubarb, lemon juice, sugar and cornflour and stir to combine. Pour the fruit filling on top of the crumble base in the loaf pan and spread out evenly.
- Now layer the remaining crumble over the top of the fruit, allowing some of the fruit to show through. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until golden brown on top.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the loaf tin. Once cooled, lift the crumble bar out of the pan using the overhanging sides of the baking paper and slice. (If you prefer handheld bars, then refrigerate the bars for 1-2 hours until set before slicing)
All recipes are developed and tested in Metric grams. I strongly recommend that you bake using digital scales for a more accurate result. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.