Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Bars
Strawberry rhubarb is a classic pie filling that I love. These pie bars have all the classic flavours of strawberry rhubarb pie without having to fuss over pie dough, lattices or waiting hours before you can dig in. You can whip up a whole pan of these bars in minutes. They’re tasty, easy to make, and always a hit to serve!
How to make pie bars?
Pie bars are so easy to make. The dough is so simple to make and requires very little effort. Unlike a traditional pie, pie bars usually have a press-in dough that requires no resting, rolling or crimping. Once you have your dough ready, which is a mixture of flour sugar and butter essentially, you press ⅔ of it into your pan. Then you spread over your fruit filling. Then crumble over the remaining fruit and bake. So quick and so easy.
How to make pie dough
When you are making pie dough for an actual pie it’s important that all ingredients are cold. When it comes to pie bars you want everything room temperature. When at room temperature, eggs and butter form an emulsion which traps air. While baking in the oven, that trapped air expands and produces a fluffy baked good. If possible, use room temperature eggs for this recipe. Soaking refrigerated eggs in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for about 5-10 minutes is a hack to get your eggs to room temperature quickly.
I made these bars gluten free by using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-1 Baking flour. Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour can replace all purpose flour at a 1:1 ratio meaning it can be used as an equal swap. I added Gluten Free Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats to my dough as well for a little extra texture in my dough but that is completely optional. Bob’s Red Mill has you covered when it comes to all of your baking needs while catering to those in your family who have specific food allergies. I love to add some chopped nuts to the topping of the dough for some extra crunch but that too is optional.
How to make pie filling
I used this delicious classic combo of fruits for these pie bars but any fruit will do the trick. These would be great with cherries, a berry mix or even stone fruit. Frozen fruit can also be used. If using frozen fruit let it thaw first or allow it to sit longer and thaw while it’s macerating with the sugar and spices. Just like a regular pie filling requires a bit of a thickening agent so do these pie bars. Corn starch is usually what most recipes call for and that is fine. If you want to use a grain free thickener you can use tapioca starch. I used Bob’s Red Mill finely ground Tapioca flour. A little goes a long way to help thicken the filling so you have a rich fruit filling instead of a watery one. The filling can easily be spiced up with your favourite flavourings. I went pretty basic with the lemon juice, vanilla and cinnamon. But cardamom and a pinch of nutmeg would be nice too.
Simple step to making pie bars
- Cream together butter and sugars.
- In a separate bowl combine flour, oats if using and salt. Add and mix into the butter mixture until combined
- Grease and line a square 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper and press in ⅔ of the the dough into the pan evenly
- Spread pie filling on top.
- Toss remaining dough with nuts if using and sprinkle on top of pie filling.
- Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.
These are truly irresistible. They are not too sweet and are great alone but would also be great with a scoop of icecream. If you are in the mood for pie and need to satisfy the craving quickly - this is the most delicious way to do it. They are made gluten free with the Gluten free flour and can easily be made vegan since they are already egg free, just swap out the butter for vegan plant based butter. They are on repeat here and hope they become a favourite in your home too!
I have partnered up with Bob’s Red Mill to bring you this fabulous recipe, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Olive & Mango.
For the Filling
- 1¼ cup rhubarb, diced small
- 1¼ cup strawberries, stems removed and diced small
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp Bob’s Red Mill tapioca starch or corn starch
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
For the Dough
- 12 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 ⅔ cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-1 Baking flour
- ¼ cups of Gluten Free Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup chopped nuts - I used pecans (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line an 8×8-inch square pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, toss together the rhubarb, strawberries, tapioca starch, lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla, pinch of salt and brown sugar. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour, oats and salt. Mix on low speed until combined. Reserve the nuts for the topping.
- Place about ⅔ of the dough in the pan. Press the dough into the pan using your fingertips or the flat bottom of a measuring cup and set aside.
- Transfer fruit mixture on top of the crust with a slotted spoon draining off most of the liquid and spread evenly
- Mix the reserved dough with the nuts (if using) and sprinkle over the top of the fruit. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until slightly browned on top and the juices around the edges of pan bubble.
- Cool the bars completely before slicing.
Adapted from the Foodnetwork