As a child one of the pies I always remember enjoying in the summer was a strawberry rhubarb pie. There is just something about that flavor combination that screams summer is here. But making a pie isn't always something I feel like signing up for. But a bar dessert, now that I can always sign up for.
I wanted to simplify this bar by making it one bowl. This crumb bar uses the same mixture for the bottom and top of the bar to make these super speedy to come together. To make the oatmeal crumb mixture, whisk together your flour, oats, baking powder, brown sugar, white sugar, and salt.
You want to make sure to use old fashioned oats. I tried using quick oats but they kind of disappeared into the mixture. Using old fashioned oats gave the bars better texture.
Once everything has been whisked together, then add in your butter. You want to be sure to use cold butter for this. Just as if you were making pie dough, you want to use cold butter, because it will create pockets of butter that will then melt and steam in the oven creating a bit of a flaky texture. I used a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. You could even use your hands to rub the butter into the mixture, if you don't want to dirty another utensil.
This mixture becomes the top and the bottom of the bars. So reserve a cup of the oatmeal mixture for the topping and press the rest of it into the bottom of a 9x9 pan. Be sure to line your pan with parchment paper first so the bars can be easily removed.
Now to keep this a one bowl recipe, simply use the same bowl you made the oatmeal crumb mixture to make the fruit filling, which is the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch. I used a 1/4 cup of sugar, but you can use more or less depending on how tart or sweet you like the filling. The filling contains lemon juice which will help keep the fruit bright when it bakes. And it also contains cornstarch to help thicken the fruit into almost like a jam consistency. Simply stir together your sliced strawberries and rhubarb, fresh lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch. Then spoon this filling over the oatmeal crumb mixture.
The last thing you have to do is just crumble the reserved oatmeal mixture over the fruit. That's it! These bars bake for about 50-60 minutes. If you make these in an 8x8 pan, they will take a little bit longer. You want the topping to be golden brown and filling to be nice and bubbly.
Forget going to all the trouble to make a strawberry rhubarb pie and whip up these bars instead.
If you like this recipe, let me know in the comment section!
And until next time happy baking!
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
- 3/4 cups brown sugar
- 1/3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 12 tablespoons butter, cold, cut into tablespoons
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- 1 cup sliced rhubarb
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper.
- 2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, sugars, salt and baking powder. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until coarse crumbs are formed. Reserve 1 cup of the mixture and set aside.
- 3. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of the 9x9 pan. Use the bottom of the measuring cup to easily press down.
- 4. In the same mixing bowl, stir together all the filling ingredients. Pour over the crumb mixture in the pan. Top with the remaining 1 cup crumb mixture, spread evenly around.
- 5. Bake for 50-60 minutes until top is golden brown and filling is bubbling. (for me this took exactly 55 minutes). Allow to cool on a wire cooling rack, then cut into bars and serve. Store covered at room temperature for up to 3 days.