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Monday, August 10, 2009

Rhubarb Again? Oh Yes.

I went home for a couple days to get more blood tests done. Yes, more. But only four tubes of blood this time [it was 6 last time], so I guess that's a good sign. Although I am now getting tested for reticulocytes, which I'm still not sure what those are...
All massive blood loss incidents aside, I have been keeping up with my baking. I had two stalks of rhubarb leftover and some raspberries bordering on becoming mouldy if I didn't use them, and that would just be nas-tay, so I decided to use them both together! The result? These light oatmeal bars [gotta get that iron!] topped with raspberry puree and rhubarb bits. Delicious.
If I had more time and patience, I would have gone all-out and made my own raspberry jam, but here I just pureed them, strained out the liquid, and added some cornstarch and sugar. I found that instead of wasting that juice, I could toss the rhubarb in them to meld the flavours of the two, and it worked out well. The rhubarb had a pink glaze before baking that sunk into the pieces during baking and made them more moist and retained their pinkish colour more.

No more rhubarb after this, I promise!

Ideas for next time : Baking them in a loaf pan to make the cookie part thicker and heartier; more rhubarb to make a full layer, nuts?

Rhubarb-Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

For the base:
1 stick of butter, softened
1/2 cup almond paste
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 up oats

For topping:
1.5 cups raspberries, well-rinsed
2 stalks rhubarb, diced
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. sugar

For base:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8-inch square pan or a loaf pan.
Beat butter, almond paste, and sugar on medium speed until creamed. Add egg yolk and extract, beating til blended. Stir in flour and oats until just combined.
Press into pan and bake for 15 minutes. Let cool while preparing topping.

For topping:
Puree the raspberries in a blender. Press through a strainer or fine sieve to get rid of extra juices. Save the juice.
Whisk the cornstarch and 1 Tbsp. sugar into strained raspberries and spread over cooled crust.
Toss rhubarb with reserved raspberry juice and remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar. Arrange in layer over the raspberry puree.
Bake for an additional 40 minutes or until the rhubarb are tender and crust is firm. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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