This recipe is from Aprille, a smart and sassy lady I’ve known for a long time but have only met once. Her recipe is a family classic, and she has been gracious enough to let me post my veganized version here! You can find the original recipe (mine is very close) on her blog.
My dad loves rhubarb and I happen to have a bumper crop. Is it still called a bumper crop if it happens year after year? The former occupants of my house must have reeeeeally liked rhubarb, because we have six gigantic plants every year. Anyway, my dad’s birthday is this weekend and we’re going home to visit, so I thought I’d make these to bring along. I know my dad reads the blog, so hopefully he is too busy today to take a peek!
I feel like I must warn you - I’ve made the original version of these bars before, though it was a couple years ago. Making them this time, I thought surely I had done something wrong. It didn’t seem like they were going to set up, the crust mixture seemed too wet and the rhubarb mixture seemed too runny. I kept thinking: Did I leave something out? Is the moisture content of the Earth Balance too high? I put them in the oven and hoped for the best. Even after I took them out of the oven they looked pretty squishy to me, but sure enough after setting up over night they were ready for their closeup this morning.
Rhubarb Barbs (vegan)
Crust and topping:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup Earth Balance sticks, softened
1 1/2 cups oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup water
2 T cornstarch
1 1/4 cup+ granulated sugar*
1/4 cup agave nectar
4 cups rhubarb, chopped into about 1/2″ pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 375F.
In a saucepan, whisk together cornstarch and water. Stir in sugar and rhubarb. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and cool. Stir in vanilla.
In a food processor, blitz together flour, soda, brown sugar, oatmeal, and ground almonds. Add the Earth Balance and pulse together until the mixture is crumbly.
Lightly spray a 9×13″ baking dish with nonstick spray. Press 2/3 of the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of the dish. Pour the cooled rhubarb mixture over the top of the crust and sprinkle remaining crumbs on top of the rhubarb.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until filling is bubbly and top is light golden brown.
* About the sugar…Well first I want to tell you that if you don’t like the tart taste of rhubarb, you might want to add a little more sugar here. I also want to talk a little bit about whether or not sugar is vegan. Most of the refined white sugar sold in traditional US supermarkets is not technically vegan. Though it doesn’t contain any animal products, charred animal bones are often used in the filtration process during manufacturing. For use at home, I usually choose to buy this organic cane sugar, which is refined with an evaporation process that doesn’t use bone char. For myself personally, I don’t worry too much about the added sugar when I’m eating outside my home.
Any other ideas for what to do with all this rhubarb?!
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