When it comes to packing sweets for a picnic, it’s best to think practically. While it may sound romantic to tuck an entire cake or pie into your picnic basket, the truth is they rarely travel well, and a smashed or soggy dessert is no way to end an outdoor soiree. But, while no one is going to turn their noses up at fruit salad or a box of cookies, the berries and other seasonal fruits at the market are just begging to be invited to the party in the form of an inspired treat. This recipe for raspberry rhubarb bars is the perfect intermediate: the bright, tart fruit and sweetened oat topping evokes all the flavors and textures of a homemade pie, but in a much more travel-friendly format. Topped with the easy crunch of pistachio and a drizzle of honey, these bars are everything good and right about springtime.
Raspberry Rhubarb Bars with Pistachio & Honey
Recipe by Penelope Rose, inspired by Smitten Kitchen
Total Cooking Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Active Cooking Time: 35 minutes
- 1 cup small diced rhubarb
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon organic cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot (TIP: Use cornstarch if arrowroot is not available to help thicken the fruit mixture)
- 1 cup rolled oats (TIP: Make sure not to use instant or quick-cooking)
- 1 cup spelt flour (all purpose flour can be used, but spelt adds a nice nutty flavor)
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup pistachios, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper. Dice rhubarb and toss is a small bowl with the lemon juice, cane sugar and arrowroot. Mix together and set aside.
In a separate, medium bowl, place oats, spelt flour, honey, brown sugar, coconut oil and sea salt. Mix together well, until all ingredients are wet. If it seems a bit dry, add a little more melted coconut oil and stir again. Reserve ½ cup of mixture and set aside.
In the bottom of 8×8 pan covered with parchment paper, dump the rest of the bar mixture. Using the back of a metal spatula or your hands, press mixture down evenly. Add the fruit mixture and spread evenly.
Return the reserved ½ cup of the crumble mixture to the bowl, and add the pistachios and vanilla. Add another drizzle of honey if you wish.
Scatter this mixture on top of the fruit, noting you fruit will still be poking through in spots. Gently press the topping into place. Bake for 35-38 minutes until fragrant and the top golden.
After pulling pan out of oven, let cool for at least 30 minutes. Cover, and then transfer the pan to the refrigerator. The bars will continue to firm up. Cut into small squares a couple of hours before the party, but continue to refrigerate before serving.