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Rhubarb Custard Bars

Once I tried these rich, gooey bars, I just had to have the recipe so I could make them for my family and friends. The shortbreadlike crust and the rhubarb and custard layers inspire people to find rhubarb that they can use to fix a batch for themselves. —Shari Roach, South Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 50 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    3 dozen

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • FILLING:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 7 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature, beaten
  • 5 cups finely chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed and drained
  • TOPPING:
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

Directions

  • In a bowl, combine the flour and sugar; cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, for filling, combine sugar and flour in a bowl. Whisk in cream and eggs. Stir in the rhubarb. Pour over crust. Bake at 350° until custard is set, 40-45 minutes. Cool.
  • For topping, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth; fold in whipped cream. Spread over top. Cover and chill. Cut into bars. Store in the refrigerator.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Heavy whipping cream gives custard fillings a luscious, decadent texture, but half-and-half cream or whole milk can be substituted with nice results.
  • This is a potluck hero: It makes a mountain of bars. If you're cooking for a smaller crew, however, just halve the recipe and use a 9- or 8-inch square baking dish.
  • If you prefer your bars on the tart side, bump up the rhubarb to 6 or 6-1/2 cups or reduce the sugar in the filling to 1-1/2 cups.
  • Go full garden party for your friends and family by adding the seeds of one vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon rosewater to the filling. Both flavors pair beautifully with rhubarb and take these already fab bars to another level.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 bar: 198 calories, 11g fat (7g saturated fat), 52mg cholesterol, 70mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate (16g sugars, 1g fiber), 2g protein.