I am all about seasonal cooking. And as far as the fiscal year of seasonal cooking goes, to me it all begins with Rhubarb. It's what nature hands us as we are waiting for something that we can pick and eat. I adapted this recipe from an issue of Fine Cooking(it originally called for cranberries) and even if you aren't a rhubarb fan, I think you will love this bar cookie as much as I do.
And you can just as easily substitute raspberries, or blueberries or yes---cranberries too.
Rhubarb Streusel Shortbread Bars
For the crust and topping
1 cup plus 5 TBL unsalted butter-melted and cooled to warm
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp table salt
2 large egg yolks
3 cups plus 3 TBS flour
For the Filling
12 oz rhubarb or other fruit-diced
1 cup sugar.
Make the crust. Stir together butter, 3/4 cup of sugar and salt. Whisk in egg yolks. Stir in flour to make a stiff dough. Transfer 2 cups dough to greased 13 x 9 pan and press evenly into bottom(I used a buttered flat bottom glass). Prick the dough all over with a fork to prevent shrinkage. Refrigerate pan for 30 mins OR freeze for 9 mins till firm. Bake 325 for 20 mins till crust begins to set(center will not be firm).
While crust is baking take remaining dough and work in 1/4 cup sugar with your fingers till crumbly for topping.
Filling------In medium saucepan cook rhubarb, sugar and 1/4 cup water to a boil and then reduce heat to med and continue to cook till liquid reduced. While the fruit is cooking, I stirred and mashed it with a potato masher. Cook till soft and then cool for 10 mins.
Spread filling over hot crust and scatter struesel over the fruit. Don't crumble the streusel too much or it will be to fine. Increase oven temp to 350 and bake for about 25 mins. If streusel starts to get too brown, cover with foil.
Cool on metal rack at least 1 hour until firm Sooooo good