Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Strawberry- Rhubarb Almond Bars

Strawberry-Rhubarb Almond Bars  
Cook's Notes: Pair your favorite pie filling with a yummy, buttery, almond crustAs a time saver the sauce can be made the day before or use a shortcut of a 10 oz. jar of strawberry-rhubarb preserves.  
Filling Ingredients:
  • 2 cups diced rhubarb and 2 cups diced strawberries
  • 1 cup sugar 
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 TB. Grand Marnier
  • ½ TB. lemon juice
  • 1 TB. grated orange or lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp. Saigon cinnamon
Filling Directions:
  • In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water and stir to dissolve.
  • Add rhubarb and simmer on low 15 minutes, add in strawberries, cinnamon, lemon juice, zest and cook 10 minutes longer.  
  • Remove from heat and add in Grand Marnier.
  • Puree in blender or pulse a few times in blender keeping in some fruit chunks.
  • Refrigerate several hours to thicken.
Almond  Crust Ingredients: 
  • 4 oz. almond paste from an 8 oz. box (reserve other half in plastic wrap and placed in a zip loc bog to store for another use) 
  • 2 cups flour plus 1 TB. 
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp.salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract 
  • 8 oz. cold butter, cubed
Almond Crust Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 9 inch glass pan with 2 sheets of foil. The edges will overhang. Make sure the foil corners are pressed in tightly to pan.  Spray foil with cooking spray.
  • Cut almond paste in pieces and place in a food processor with 1 tablespoon of flour, pulse into crumbs. Add in flour, powdered sugar, salt, baking powder and almond extract.   Pulse briefly and add in butter cubes in two batches. Process in short pulses until well mixed. The dough will be crumbly.
  • Reserve 1-1/4 cups of crumb mixture and set aside. 
  • Take remaining crumb mixture and press into an even layer in bottom of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes until crust is puffed and just starting to take on some color. 
  • Carefully spread filling in an even layer over crust layer. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. 
  • Bake 30-32 minutes until filling is bubbly and top crust is golden. Cool to room temperature. Hold foil edges and place bars on a cutting board. Cut bars from foil and place on a plate. Refrigerate 30 minutes to set.

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