This has been an interesting week here as my nine new chickens arrived from Montana. I was on pins and needles worrying about the birds being shipped and didn’t sleep well until I was able to pick them up at the post office. They all are doing great now, and are even going up into the coop on their own at night which is something necessary here as our home is in the woods and we have lots of predators who would enjoy a chicken meal. Now that my chickens have settled in, I can relax and get back into the kitchen!
I went a little crazy this year during strawberry season and ended up picking three large flats of strawberries. Of course as soon as you pick them they need to be either preserved or used in some way, so I made two different types of jam, froze strawberries whole to use in smoothies, and made some strawberry rhubarb freezer jam to use in baked goods like these delicious bars. These bars can be made with any variety of jams, but are particularly delicious with rhubarb and strawberries. There is just something amazing that happens when you combine sweet, ripe strawberries with tart rhubarb.
Don’t fret if you do not have strawberry rhubarb jam on hand because I am sharing a quick recipe below for the filling that can even be made with frozen fruit. This recipe makes two 8-inch pans of bars, so feel free to freeze one to enjoy later if you like. The filling can be made the day before and refrigerated if you want to break the recipe up.
The “Girls” Trying To Cool Off On A Hot Summer Afternoon!
Deborah Mele 2018
- 1 Pound Rhubarb, Chopped
- 1 Pound Fresh or Frozen Strawberries, Chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
- 1 1/2 Cups Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Water
- 2 Sticks Plus 4 Tablespoons Cold Butter, Cut Into Pieces
- 3 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 10 Tablespoons Ice Water
- 1 Cup Rolled Oats
- 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
- To make the filling, place the fruit in a large saucepan with the cornstarch, sugar and water, and bring to a rapid boil, stirring constantly.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer, and continue to cook until the fruit has thickened and become jam-like, about 20 minutes.
- Pour the jam into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly grease two 8-inch square cake pans.
- Cut two pieces of parchment paper to line the bottom and two sides of each pan with a 2-inch overhang.
- Place the flour, sugar, salt in a food processor and pulse until mixed.
- Add the butter and pulse until coarse crumbs form.
- Add half the water and pulse, adding just enough more water for the dough to come together in a ball.
- Divide the dough, taking 2/3 of it and press equal amounts into the bottom of your prepared pans.
- Divide the jam between the two pans.
- Add the oats, walnuts, and cinnamon to the remaining dough mixture, and crumble with your fingers.
- Sprinkle the oat mixture over the jam layer, covering completely.
- Bake the bars until golden brown, about 40 to 45 minutes.
- Cool completely, then remove from the pan with the parchment paper and cut into bars.