Vanilla Rhubarb Custard Bars

First off, before I get started on these little beauties, I want to give a shout out to Charlene over at Adventures in Mommy Land for presenting me with my second Versatile Bloggers Award!  You can read the little known facts about me from my first Versatile Bloggers Award HERE. Thanks so much Charlene!  Charlene is a stay at home mom to six kids and a gaggle of animals.  She has some great giveaways, cool crafts and one amazing family.  Be sure to check her out and tell her I sent you!

Ok, now on to the best dang rhubarb dessert this side of the Mississippi.  Seriously.  These little babies are TO. DIE. FOR. Rhubarb is one of those flavors that reminds me of my childhood.  Growing up in Wisconsin it seemed as though my mom was always cooking some sort of sweet concoction up with the yummy red stalks.  Once I moved away from Wisconsin though, and started living in more southern areas of the country, rhubarb just wasn’t there anymore and I guess you could say I kind of forgot about it.

That is, until I received an email from my local produce shop here in Charlotte telling me that rhubarb was available from Florida of all places.  Rhubarb is considered to be a northern vegetable and likes cool temperatures.  If it can be grown in Florida, surely it can be grown here in Charlotte, right?  After creating this dessert, I’m determined to see if I can make it grow here.  In case you don’t know what rhubarb is, I’ve taken a picture of my stash in  all it’s glory for your viewing pleasure.  Isn’t it gorgeous?!  I need more rhubarb!

And you will too after you try these bars out.  One thing to note; because of the custard and whipped cream, they should be stored in the fridge.  Trust me, they taste best cold anyway.  Ok, here’s what you’ll need to bake your own little piece of rhubarb heaven:

Ingredients Needed:

For the Crust:

21/2 Cups of Crushed Vanilla Wafers
1 Stick of Butter, Melted
1/4 tsp of Cinammon
1/4 tsp of Nutmeg

For the Custard:

1 Cup of Brown Sugar
1 Cup of White Sugar
1/4 Cup of Flour
3 tbsp of Almond Meal (you can sub flour if you don’t have this)
1 Cup of Whipping Cream
3 Eggs
5 Cups of Chopped Rhubarb
1 tsp Vanilla

For the Topping:

8 Oz. of Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup of White Sugar
1 tsp of Vanilla
1 Cup of Whipping Cream, Whipped

Ok, so to get started we’re going to make our crust.  First up, grind your vanilla wafers to a pulp in your food processor. Then throw them into a 9×13″ pan.  Add to the pile your melted butter, nutmeg and cinnamon.  Stir it up well to combine and then press it into your pan to form a crust.  Here’s a picture of my mulched cookies and combining all the crust ingredients into the pan.  Yum yum!

Once your crust is mixed and patted down into your pan, throw it in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.  When it’s done, pull it out of the oven and let it cool.

While the crust is cooking, let’s get started on the custard.  In your mixer add the brown sugar, white sugar, flour, almond meal, whipping cream, eggs, and vanilla.  Whisk it together until smooth.

Now add in your rhubarb and stir by hand.

Pour the custard mixture over your cooled crust.  Here’s mine:

Spread it around evenly and then put it into your oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.  Pull it out when the 40 minutes is up.  It should look like this.   I so want a bite already!

Now, and this is the hard part.  You need to place the bars into the fridge and let them cool COMPLETELY.  I put mine in overnight.  It was really difficult to forgo dessert that first day, but it’s so worth the wait.  Your custard needs to cool completely so that it will thicken up. Don’t panic if you pull it out of the oven and it seems a bit unfirm.  I have to say I worried a bit that mine wasn’t done all the way when it first came out, but by the next morning after it had cooled, I knew it was perfect.

Once  your custard has had a chance to cool, go ahead and put together the final piece of your bars; the whipped cream top.  Oh how I love fresh whipped cream.  Grab your cup of heavy cream and whip it up in your mixer until stiff peaks form.  If you’ve never whipped fresh cream before, it should look like this:

Remove the whipped cream from the mixer and set aside.  To your mixer add your softened cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.  Whip it together for a good 2 to 3 minutes.  Once it’s completely whipped and mixed, carefully fold your whipped cream back into the mixture by hand.  Spread the cream onto your bars and your finished!  Now you can sit back with a big hunk of rhubarb goodness and wonder why you didn’t make these sooner.  Life is definitely good.

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17 Responses to “Vanilla Rhubarb Custard Bars”

  1. 1

    Sarah @ Mum In Bloom — May 18, 2010 @ 1:09 pm

    Oh my gosh I'm making these for sure & will link back when I do! You are hilarious and I love your photos :) Have you ever considered making your recipes printable? I use Google Docs and it's fairly easy. Let me know if you have any questions, eh?

  2. 2

    Cupy Cakey — May 18, 2010 @ 1:32 pm

    Really, you are just too much! There would be no way I could continue my weight loss and be near all of this goodness.
    Truthfully…I've never tried Rhubarb anything before. I know I know…sad but true! I will now need to make a special trip to try this. If it's edible..I'll snap a photo for you :-)

  3. 3

    julie — May 18, 2010 @ 1:41 pm

    Sarah, I've definitely considered it but haven't gone farther than that yet. I guess I wasn't sure exactly how to do it, but I'm going to check out google docs today; you've inspired me to figure it out!. I'll let you know if I need help. Thanks somuch!

    Cupy – Rhubarb is the bomb. You really need to track some down. It's good for you too! Just look at it as the healthiness of the rhubarb counteracts the "oh so good" badness of the heavy cream and sugar. HA!

  4. 4

    Ma What's 4 dinner — May 18, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

    My mom used to make us rhubarb all the time. I hate to admit I've never tried making it. What a loser I am. I'm going to have to get off my bum and try it and when I do I'm making this recipe!!!

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What's for Dinner

  5. 5

    Gringation Cancun — May 18, 2010 @ 2:27 pm

    oh my gosh oh my gosh oh my GOSH that looks awesome!

  6. 6

    Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron — May 18, 2010 @ 3:39 pm

    Congrats on your award Julie! This rhubarb looks so yummy especially the piece from the photo with that cream cheese topping!

  7. 7

    C and C Dish — May 18, 2010 @ 4:57 pm

    This looks like a wonderful way to use Rhubarb, thanks for sharing!

  8. 8

    Chef Dennis — May 18, 2010 @ 7:36 pm

    anything with a vanilla wafer crust gets my attention right away! I have never had rhubarb..I know I have been living under a culinary rock….sigh…but I have to say your creation looks almost sinful…wow!!

  9. 9

    Sinful Southern Sweets — May 18, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

    I must admit, I have never cooked with rhubarb. I can't tell you exactly why, but I'm changing this soon. This looks great!!

  10. 10

    alicia — May 18, 2010 @ 9:18 pm

    Never been a huge fan of rhubarb, but the fam might dig this.

  11. 11

    LambAround — May 18, 2010 @ 9:28 pm

    Mmmm, this looks yummy. It's so hard to find good recipes for rhubarb!

    I love your mix of brandless and Trader Joes ingredients. You're a woman of my own heart :p



  12. 12

    Amy — May 18, 2010 @ 9:33 pm

    The photo of the finished bar looks like a really scrumptious piece of pie…I can almost taste the creaminess! Yum!

  13. 13

    anniebakes — May 19, 2010 @ 10:46 am

    i wish i loved rhubarb, but I don't and we have a huge plant in our yard, but we give to a little old couple who love it, anne

  14. 14

    Alisa-Foodista — May 19, 2010 @ 1:54 pm

    I see rhubarbs everywhere, even in my dreams! You can never have enough rhubarb recipes.This is going in my to-do list :) Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  15. 15

    Rick — May 20, 2010 @ 8:59 am

    That is the dreamiest pie/bar I have ever seen!

  16. 16

    Stephanie — May 21, 2010 @ 6:43 am

    We are just getting our rhubarb started here. (in WV)It hasn't done very well so far, but I still have hope. This recipe looks wonderful.

  17. 17

    mydanishkitchen — June 14, 2010 @ 6:05 am

    It's Rhubarb season. This looks amazing, so rich and creamy. My mother used to cook and bake with Rhubarbs but I have actually not tried working with it yet.

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