Small batch rhubarb custard bars have a sweet, shortbread crust topped with the perfect mix of sweet and tangy flavors.
I definitely look forward to rhubarb every year. Strawberry rhubarb pie is an absolute necessity at our house every spring. Rhubarb is often considered a spring and early summer treat, but you can definitely use it all summer long.
A standard-sized 9×5 loaf pan has become one of my favorite ways to make a small batch dessert. The pan yields a generous serving of dessert perfect for two lucky people.
Flour: The base of the crust and a bit in the filling to help with structure. We want sticky, gooey bars, but not liquid.
Powdered Sugar: Adds sweetness to the wonderful shortbread crust.
Butter: The fat and richness in the crust.
Egg: Binds the filling together.
Sugar: Rhubarb is very tart. The dessert does need a decent amount of sugar for that perfect sweet and tart combination.
Vanilla Extract: A bit of vanilla is good with both the sweet and tart flavors.
Salt: Brings out the other flavors.
Rhubarb: One cup is two to three stalks of rhubarb, depending upon the size of your stalks. They should be diced into similar-sized pieces.
You will start with the shortbread crust. For ease of removing your bars, I recommend lining the loaf pan with parchment paper. I find by lightly spraying the pan with cooking spray I can easily line the pan. The parchment paper tends to flop around, but given a moist surface, it will adhere to the sides of the pan.
Combine the flour and powdered sugar and blend in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Using a gentle touch, pat the mixture into the base of the loaf pan. You want a nice, even layer, and a gentle touch helps the crust stay tender.
While the crust is baking, put together the custard filling. The custard layer is quite liquid, but will firm up as it bakes.
Once the crust is out of the oven, pour the filling over the hot crust. Keep in the mind, the pan is hot! So easy to grab the hot pan off the counter without oven mitts. Been there, done that. Ouch!
Once the pan is back in the oven, reduce the temperature to 325 ℉.
When the filling is set and doesn’t jiggle when the pan is tapped, remove it from the oven and let it cool on the counter for 30 minutes.
When you are ready to remove the bars from the pan, use the parchment paper to lift the bars from the pan.
Refrigerate these bars until ready to enjoy. They are easier to cut and taste amazing straight out of the refrigerator.
Husband enjoyed his rhubarb bars with some ice cream. He reports it was delicious. 🙂
They are also lovely sprinkled with a bit of powdered sugar. But I was hungry and forget the last time I made them. 😉
If you are looking for a sweet little dessert and have a few stalks of rhubarb left, these small-batch rhubarb custard bars are terrific.
Small Batch Rhubarb Custard Bars
- ⅓ cup flour
- 1 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp cold butter cubed
- 1 large egg beaten
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp flour
- dash of vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup rhubarb diced
- Preheat oven to 350℉.
- Prep a standard loaf pan by lining with parchment paper. I like to spray the pan so the parchment paper sticks. This makes it easier to line the pan.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour and powdered sugar. Using a pastry blender or your fingers mix the butter into the flour and sugar until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Gently pat the crumbs into the base of your prepped loaf pan. Bake the crust for 10-12 min or until lightly browned.
- While the crust is in the oven, mix together eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla extract and salt. Gently stir in the diced rhubarb.
- Pour the rhubarb mixture over the hot crust. Carefully return bars to the hot oven. Reduce oven temperature to 325℉ and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the filling is set and no longer jiggles.
- Cool for 30 mins on the counter. Refrigerate until chilled before cutting into bars. Refrigerator any leftovers.