Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rhubarb Curd Bars

These are pretty neutral in color because my rhubarb was not extra pink. Next time I make them I am only going to use the reddest/pinkest rhubarb that I can find. Oh and there WILL be a next time. These take a little more prep than other things but are TOTALLY worth the time.

Rhubarb Curd
4 cups rhubarb (about 10 to 15 stalks)
1/3 cup sugar
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar 
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
¼ C unsalted butter, cut up into chunks
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 cook over low heat until you can no longer see whole pieces. Turn off the 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, remaining sugar and salt. Whisk until well combined and warm. Add about 1 cup of the stewed rhubarb and the lemon zest. Keep stirring until the mixture is warm again. Check for taste and add more of the pureed rhubarb until you get the desired flavor and color. Remove from heat and stir in the butter chunks.
If you are not using the curd immediately, let it cool to room temperature and then store refrigerated for up to a week.
This recipe makes more curd than you’ll need for the Rhubarb Bars.

Rhubarb Bars

Makes about a dozen
½ C butter, room temperature
1 cup (136 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
a pinch of salt
about 1/2 of the Rhubarb curd recipe from above
Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350.
Place the butter, flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a mixer. Start on low speed (to keep the flour from flying everywhere), stir until it resembles course crumbs. Then increase speed slightly and continue to mix until a soft dough forms. It’s kind of magic.
Take the dough and press it into a 9″ x 5″ baking dish. Let rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes, and then bake until it is lightly golden, about 20 minutes. While the dough is baking, finish preparing the curd.
Pour the enough curd onto 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. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate if desired (it’s easier to slice when chilled, but not necessary). Dust with powdered sugar before slicing if you’d like.

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