Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gluten-Free Rhubarb Pie Bars + Recipe

Two food photos for my 365 Day Photo Challenge in a row and each with their own recipe?!  I have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen!  In our family, my husband, Kenneth, is the cook and I am the baker.  Kenneth makes a mean grilled cheese and I bake him delicious cookies and pie - it works wonderfully!

Since I cannot digest wheat and gluten very well, I bake everything gluten-free, and since Kenneth is allergic to nuts, I also bake nut-free (except peanuts - we love peanuts and peanut butter!).  Kenneth can and does eat wheat products so he is my official taste tester and lets me know if the cookie or bread that I made tastes just as good as its wheat-filled cousin.  Usually he gives me the 'thumbs up' on a recipe and we keep it, though there have been a few disasters though in the three years since I gave up wheat.

The photo above is of rhubarb pie bars I made last night and cut this morning before work.  They are full of tangy rhubarb and the crust has a hint of sweetness from Meyer lemons.  This recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Blueberry Crumb Bars and can easily be made with wheat flour, I included notes just for you wheat-eaters out there!  It can also be made with other fruit - I usually make it with chokeberries or aronia berries, which are like tart blueberries.  My parents have several chokeberry shrubs in their yard - I will post photos of them and a recipe or two in the future.

May 13th, 2013 - Author's Note: I submitted this recipe to Bob's Red Mill shortly after writing this post and found out today that is has been accepted!  Check it out here!

Rhubarb Pie Bars (Gluten-Free)                                    
Makes 1 9x13 pan


1 cup white sugar
2 cups all purpose gluten-free flour* (I use Bob's Red Mill GF All Purpose Baking Flour)

½ cup starch (Tapioca, corn or potato starch work well)
½ cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons xanthan gum**
Zest and juice of two Meyer lemons (Use only one lemon if you can't find any Meyer - but do look!  They are amazing!)
2 sticks cold unsalted butter
1 egg
6+ cups chopped rhubarb
½ cup white sugar
4 teaspoons starch (Tapioca, corn or potato starch)

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13 inch pan.  Stir together 1 cup sugar, flour, starch, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum (if using) and lemon zest. Use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in the butter and egg (I don't have a pastry cutter so I use a fork and a knife to cut the butter and egg into the dry ingredients). Dough will be crumbly. Lightly press half of the dough into the pan.  In a separate bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the rhubarb.  Once well stirred, evenly layer the rhubarb over the bottom layer of crust.  Crumble the remaining flour mixture over the rhubarb.  Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes, or until top is slightly brown.  Cool completely before cutting into squares.  Store in the refrigerator. 

*Use regular all purpose wheat flour, or whole wheat flour if you are naturally blessed with the ability to eat wheat and gluten
**Omit if the wheat gods smiled down on you and... yes, I know, I'm a little bitter about my gluten-freeness!