Rhubarb Almond Red Berry Bars

Rhubarb Almond Red Berry Bar | Now, Forager | Teresa Floyd PhotographySisters are a wonderful thing. If you have one you will understand. As a child, having older sisters meant having someone to play with and someone to watch out for me during my elementary school days. It also meant trying to tag along with them, when they hung out with friends and being avidly avoided because I was “too little.”  As a young teenager, my sisters were always there to help me make sure my clothes matched, how to do my hair and make-up, and how to deal with boys. Ultimately, my hair had too much hairspray, at times my make-up was too heavy, and boys were gross so their advice went over my head. During these early years, there was plenty of arguing over borrowed clothes and secret-keeping, but as the youngest most of this was witnessed by me than actually participating in it. There were many special moments too. Late night slumber parties, laughter, girl-talk, and countless hours of playing with Barbies.

Rhubarb Almond Red Berry Bars | Now, Forager |Teresa Floyd PhotographyWhen it was time for high school, both sisters were graduated and starting their independent lives. They became my surrogate parents in a way, imparting their newly found wisdom on me in the infrequent moments that we spent together. They became less apart of my daily life, but never failed to be there when life’s big questions would arise. They had each traveled the road before me. As a woman, this is invaluable to have. I credit them with much of my success and avoided pain simply because they lived it first. It was not until after college that we began to be more apart of each others lives. Finally, mature enough to understand everything that they had been trying to share with me and they were confident and successful woman in their own lives.

Strawberries | Now, Forager | Teresa FloydRed Berry Almond Rhubarb Bar | Now, Forager| Teresa Floyd PhotographyThe greatest gift in a sister is that she will be your best friend and truest confidant. They are the only ones who can honestly tell you the truth without burning bridges or lingering resentful feelings. You know it is rooted in the deepest love. They are family and they are there to hopefully guide you in the right direction. Nowadays, we are there to support and encourage one another. We offer each other advice and their wisdom still guides me today. Though we live far apart, the days that we do spend together always involve good food and laughter. Coffee, something sweet, and late night conversations are mandatory.

Rhubarb and Almond Red Berry Bars | Now, Forager | Teresa Floyd PhotographyA few weeks ago, one of them suggested that more traditional baking be shared on the blog. In honor of that advice, these Rhubarb Almond Red Berry Bars are dedicated to them. Uncomplicated and full of bright flavor. Their taste reminds me of pie and nothing is better than portable little pies covered in buttery, thick, chewy streusel. Great for any time of the day, whether it be with your morning tea or for dessert with a scoop of cold vanilla bean ice cream. For us, these would be perfect for our next family gathering and late night conversation party.


Rhubarb Almond Red Berry Bars

Makes 9 large bars or 16 small

Almond Oat Crust

3/4 cup (95g) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (45g) rolled oats
1/4 cup (28g) sliced almonds
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 vanilla bean, seeds scraped *optional
5 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare an 8×8 baking pan with two long strips of parchment that are each the width of the pan. Lay first strip in the bottom of the pan, allowing it to extend up the sides of the pan and slightly overhang on the edges. Alternate the pan, and repeat with the second strip. This will prevent your bars from sticking to the pan and allow easy removal after they have baked (just lift the parchment edges up and out).

Place all ingredients, except butter, in a food processor bowl. Attach lid and pulse a few times to combine ingredients. Add butter chunks and pulse until dough looks sandy and forms loose crumbs. Pour mixture into prepared pan and evenly spread out to edges with your hands or the back of a large spoon. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly golden brown. While your crust bakes, prepare your filling and crumble.


Rhubarb Red Berry Filling

1/2 cup (58g) rhubarb, rinsed and sliced
1 cup (130g) raspberry, fresh or frozen
2 cups (240g) strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and quartered
1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
1/4 kosher salt
1 tbsp cornstarch
zest of 1 lemon

In a medium sized bowl, gently combine all the ingredients thoroughly (try not to crush the raspberries). Set aside and allow berries to macerate while crumble is being made.


Almond Oat Crumble

1 cup (83g) rolled oats
1/2 cup (51g) sliced almonds
1/2 cup (65g) all purpose flour
6 tbsp (80g) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
5 tbsp (50g) brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 vanilla bean, seeds scraped *optional

In a medium sized bowl, combine all ingredients except butter. Add butter and use your fingers to massage butter into dough. Continue until butter is evenly distributed and clumps of dough begin to form.


Rhubarb Almond Red Berry Bar Assembly

Once crust has finished baking, remove from oven and while still warm evenly spread filling on top. Next, evenly distribute crumble over the entire surface and into corners. Bake for 55 minutes more or until crumble is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Remove from oven and let cool completely on wire rack.

Carefully, lift bars from pan using parchment edges to pull up and out. With a sharp kitchen knife, cut the size of bars you desire (wipe knife blade clean after each cut). Serve with a cup of tea, coffee, milk, or a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. Any left over bars may be stored in an airtight container, for up to three days.