It’s rare that I go back and make changes to desserts. Once we have something that we love, it usually stays the way it is. Just how I like most things. But sometimes, you have to change it up a little bit.
It’s June, which means we’re finding every excuse to as many strawberries as humanly possible.
Strawberries on their own and mixed into fruit salads. Strawberries in oatmeal and smoothies, in salads and dressings, in pie and jam.
And specifically, and especially, these bars.
I first made these for a work picnic a few years ago, and most recently made a batch to take to my nephew’s 4th birthday party as a dessert for all of the adults.
As expected, most of the bars were gone by that evening. I’m pretty sure one was eaten for breakfast the next morning, and the last couple in the pan ended up being an afternoon snack for my mom, Nick’s mom, and me while we chatted – and ate, straight from the pan – around the kitchen island. I think if the last crumbs are being scooped out of the pan with a spoon, you’ve got a good thing going.
The original recipe for these was great, and there isn’t much that I changed this time around, but the addition of the ginger to the topping adds just enough of a different flavor so it doesn’t taste like your typical strawberry pie. A little punch, a little pizzazz.
And pizzazz is just what you need in summer.
Strawberry Rhubarb Pecan Crumble Pie Bars
As soon as the days get longer and everything feels green, these bars are all I want. It's exactly what we should be eating right now: juicy, perfectly red strawberries and tart, chunky rhubarb. The crust is somewhere between a very thick pie crust and a shortbread; the topping is full of chopped pecans and spiced up with a touch of ginger. If you have a hankering for a pie, this is just what you need - and no pie crust to roll out!
- 1 and 1/2 sticks butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
- 2 and 1/2 cups rhubarb, sliced
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 cup oats
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick butter, cold and diced
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- To make the crust, beat the softened butter with the sugar until it's light and creamy. Add in the flour and salt and mix just until the dough comes together. It will probably look crumbly; if you can grab some of it, smash it and it stays together, it's ready.
- Press the dough evenly into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
- Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes, just until the edges are starting to turn golden. Take out of the oven and let it rest for a few minutes.
- In a large bowl, toss the strawberries and rhubarb with the cornstarch. Spread the berry mixture on top of the crust.
- Pour the oats, flour, pecans, brown sugar, ginger, and salt into a bowl and mix everything together. With your hands, break the butter down into smaller pieces and work into the oat topping. Keep working with the topping mix until most of the bigger chunks of butter are gone.
- Spread the topping mixture over the berries and rhubarb.
- Bake the bars for 45-50 minutes or until the topping is golden and the edges are bubbling.
- Cool completely before serving.