Spring is here and that means it’s rhubarb season. These Rhubarb Shortbread Bars started out with a puff pastry base and after a few tweaks morphed into this recipe using shortbread. I love the tart and tangy flavor from rhubarb and poached it in a vanilla scented syrup. Interested?
Rhubarb Shortbread Bars
While rhubarb is technically a vegetable, it is most often used in desserts. Not to be eaten raw, but cooked, sweetened and is great when mixed with apples or berries.
I am a huge rhubarb fan and use it often. A house favorite is Rhubarb Crisp, and Rhubarb Apple Hand Pies. For something a little different this Balsamic Black Pepper Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble is a fantastic taste sensation. Great uses, but I wanted a new dessert.
I originally started this recipe off using puff pastry, but it wasn’t working, I needed something not as delicate.
Shortbread would do the trick and I decided to add ground almonds to the mix. This shortbread alone would be perfect. I trimmed the edges of the baked shortbread after it cooled and starting to think of other recipe uses. Sweet, delicate, crunchy shortbread with flecks of ground almonds. Schmeared with Nutella or something…. oh my.
To lighten up the tangy rhubarb I poached the rhubarb in a vanilla scented syrup for 5 minutes. The flavor combination is just out of this world. I swear, it may seem odd, but wow it’s a good one. I made another batch on it’s own and chopped the rhubarb up so it would be a great compote.
Instead of a custard or curd, I whipped up some ricotta cheese I had and sweetened it up a bit with honey. Could this be any better? Each bite had tender, tangy, vanilla scented rhubarb, a creamy, light ricotta filling and then the tender bite of the shortbread.
Both Dave and I thought it might be better with chopped rhubarb. Feel free to chop it into chunks, but for presentation sake I kept it in small strips. I thought it might break down while poaching it. Either way this is a tasty one. Enjoy!
Rhubarb Shortbread Bars
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour ground almonds
- pinch salt
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Poached Rhubarb:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 lemon juice
- 2 lbs rhubarb
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 4 tbsp honey
- Shortbread: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13” pan with parchment paper.
- Place butter, flours, salt and powdered sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix until smooth.
- Place shortbread dough in the prepared pan and press using your fingers to a form a layer. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until slightly golden brown. Set aside to cool.
- Poaching Rhubarb: Slice rhubarb into 4-inch pieces. Set aside.
- Stir together sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Add vanilla and lemon juice, and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Add rhubarb to poaching liquid, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer rhubarb to a plate to cool.
- In a bowl whip together the ricotta and honey. Spread evenly on cooled shortbread. Top with cooled, poached rhubarb and line the length of the shortbread. Chill for 10 minutes before slicing and serve.