Summer rhubarb bars
Just-right sweet yet tart scarlet and vibrant pink summer fruit sits on top of a half-pastry, half-flapjack base, all topped off with a crunchy crumble topping. These bars are free from eggs, dairy and refined sugar, and gluten-free if you use a good gluten-free flour blend. If coconut sugar and oil are too much of a stretch for you, follow the recipe using the same quantities of butter and soft, light brown sugar. You can vary the fruits you use here depending on the time of year: apples and blackberries are great, as are plums and pears. In the summer, apricots and raspberries are amazing.
MAKES 20 BARS
- 150g coconut oil or butter, plus extra for greasing
- 150g rolled oats
- 150g spelt flour
- 150g coconut sugar or unrefined light brown sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
- 250g rhubarb (about 2 medium stalks)
- 300g strawberries, hulled
- the juice of 1 lemon
Preheat the oven to 210°C/190°C fan/gas 7 and get all your ingredients and equipment together. Line a roughly 30cm × 20cm baking tray with greaseproof paper and rub with a little coconut oil.
Put the coconut oil or butter into a large saucepan over a medium heat and leave to melt, then take off the heat. Add the oats, flour, 150g sugar and a pinch of salt and give it a good mix. Take out 6 tablespoons of the mixture and put to one side to make the topping. Press the rest of the mixture into the bottom of the baking tray. Press down with the back of a spoon until it evenly coats the tray.
Chop the rhubarb and the strawberries quite finely and put into a bowl; squeeze over the lemon juice, add 1 tablespoon of sugar and toss to coat. Scatter the fruit over the crumb base then sprinkle with the reserved topping. Bake for 40 minutes, until the fruit is bubbly and the crumbs are golden.
Let the bars cool in the tray (you can do this in the fridge to speed things up), then cut into roughly 30 pieces. Store in the fridge – they will keep for 4–5 days.