Strawberry rhubarb oat crumble bars with a delightfully sweet ratio of fruit-to-crumble. Perfectly portable for spring parties, picnics, snacking, and more.
Spring is meant to usher in warmer temperatures and sunshine and flowers and a day here or there that merits a sundress and flip-flops. Which is why I’ve been quite bitterly disappointed to be wearing a winter coat a third of the way into May. Rain, clouds, gray skies, all this I can handle, if necessary. But the persistent cold? SAD.
The bright spot in our gloomy chill is without a doubt the farmers market. As many noticed the other day on Instagram, we enjoy access to some amazing farmers markets here in Brussels, brimming with not only fresh produce, but local vendors of eggs, cheese, meat, fish, and, of course, waffles. For any locals, our favorites are the Saturday situation at Stockel Square and Sundays at Place Weiner.
However wintry the weather remains, a spin through the farmers market is enough to remind me that yes, spring is coming. Piles of raspberries, bright green asparagus, the first stalks of rhubarb, and, a personal favorite, juicy local Belgian strawberries. How could I not combine the latter two into that classic spring treat, a strawberry-rhubarb crumble?
[clickToTweet tweet=”Usher in warmer weather with a batch of simple strawberry rhubarb oat crumble bars.” quote=”Usher in warmer weather with a batch of simple strawberry rhubarb oat crumble bars.”]
This version is delightfully portable, if you’re into that kind of thing. And the fruit-to-crumble ratio skews heavily in the direction of fruit, if you’re into that kind of thing, too. Basically there’s just enough oat crumble to hold things together and act as a little boat for getting sweet strawberries and rhubarb onto your tastebuds, where, let’s be honest, they obviously belong.
The strawberries are enough to make your fruit filling joyously bright red, even if you’re working with early rhubarb that’s mostly green, as I was. Do I need an excuse to make these again when deep red rhubarb starts cropping up? I think not!
Make ’em, love ’em, and have faith that eventually our flip-flops will see the light of day again. Unless you’re already dealing with scorching temperatures or wild weather swings, in which case I don’t have much consolation, except to say that strawberry rhubarb oat crumble bars will still brighten your spirits.
Strawberry Rhubarb Oat Crumble Bars
For the Compote:
- 2 cups (280 grams) strawberry slices
- 2 cups (220 grams) 1/2-inch rhubarb slices
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 4 teaspoons (15 grams) cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Oat Crumble:
- 1 cup (80 grams) old-fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (110 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (95 grams) brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter melted
- To make the compote, combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and toss to coat the fruit with the cornstarch and liquids. Cook over medium heat until the rhubarb is fork-tender, the strawberries begin to break down, and the juices thicken slightly, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (about 190 degrees C). For easy removal, line an 8” square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. (No need to bother if you plan to serve them straight from the pan.)
- In a medium bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, ginger, and cinnamon. Pour in the melted butter and stir until evenly combined. Press about 1/2 of the crumble mixture tightly and evenly into the bottom of the baking pan.
- Spread the fruit compote evenly over the crust, then scatter the remaining crumble mixture over the fruit. (Don’t worry if the crumble doesn’t fully cover the fruit.) Bake for 30-40 minutes, until fruit is bubbly and the crumble is golden.
- Let cool in the pan for at least 4 hours or overnight, or speed up the process in the fridge to ensure bars can be removed intact. Cut into squares, serve, and store any leftovers in the fridge.