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Tarty rhubarb slice

June 7, 2011

I won’t lie: this is not the prettiest slice, despite the likeable light pink of the rhubarb pictured above. You’d be lucky to find such complimentary light at this time of year, so in reality they are a bit pinky-brown. However, if you are a rhubarb fan, these are pretty damn droolworthy – quite literally. You know how your mouth waters when you see lemon tart? This does that. Except it also has that nice subtle berry-like taste that the reddest part of rhubarb stalks provides. As soon as I spotted the recipe on  The Quinces and the Pea, it was only a matter of time before I tried these. The only adjustment I made was to use a different base, which has quickly become a favourite since I made that maple, apple and nut slice. It’s a bit crunchy, and has a gorgeous caramelly flavour thanks to the light brown sugar. It’s also super easy to but together. It works really well with this slice, and would do even better with a pinch of powdered ginger in the base. If you’d rather head on a rhubarb/vanilla route however, the original base sounds more appropriate.

This was a somewhat thin sort of slice, so if you want it thicker just use a slightly smaller pan. I know the recipe looks scary and a bit daunting, but it’s honestly no more effort than making a cake. EDIT: I also found a brown butter rhubarb ginger slice…another excellent idea!

Rhubarb slice

makes one 8×8″ pan


  • 115g butter, softened
  • 1/3c light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1c flour (fluff it up first)
  • optional: 1/4 tsp powdered ginger

Rhubarb puree

You can make a little extra for drizzling over your oatmeal or ice cream in the morning if you like!

  • 2.5-3c chopped rhubarb stalks (the red part only)
  • 1/2c sugar
Rhubarb topping
  • 1c rhubarb puree
  • 35g lemon juice (2 Tbs + 1 tsp)
  • 65g sugar (1/3c)
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 Tbs cornflour
Start with the base:
Smoosh the butter and sugar together until no streaks of butter remain (with a wooden spoon or fork). Mix the flour in until the mixture is uniform. In a cold kitchen the mixture will look a bit dry, in a warm kitchen the mxiture will be like a very thick paste, almost a dough. Pour the crumbles into a paper lined pan (or spread if in a warm kitchen), and pat down until it’s a uniform thickness. Put in the freezer while your oven preheats to 180C (350F) – arrange your rack in the centre.
Meanwhile, make the puree:
Place rhubarb and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, and stir until the sugar dissolves. It will look dry at first but the rhubarb will emit a LOT of water, so don’t be tempted to add water. Let boil and toil away until the rhubarb is pulpy soft, and falls apart when prodded with a fork (about 10 mins). Remove from heat, puree, and set aside.
By now your oven will have preheated – pop your base in for about twenty minutes, until golden at the edges and a few bits in the middle are starting to brown up a bit.
Meanwhile, make the filling:
Whisk eggs and sugar together. Add lemon juice to the puree and whisk in. Once the puree mixture has cooled to a lukewarm temperature, whisk it into the eggs along with the cornflour, sifted, until uniform. Pour this over the base as soon as it’s out of the oven, then reduce oven heat to 160C (320F).
Return slice to the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until the topping is set and slightly puffed all over. Cool completely, then run a knife around the two edges that are not paper lined and lift out. Dust with icing sugar just before serving (it dissolves fairly quickly).

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32 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2011 8:30 pm

    Now this looks like the kind of slice I could fall in love with. This will be on the baking list for next weekend. Thank you.

  2. June 7, 2011 9:50 pm

    I think that it also looks pretty. :-)

  3. June 7, 2011 9:53 pm

    Oo wow these look great. Mmmmmm!

  4. June 8, 2011 4:42 pm

    F: Sweet, hopefully all goes well, let me know if you like it or not :D

    A: It does look ok in the photo but in person it’s a bit weirdly coloured!

    Q: Let me know if you make them!

  5. June 9, 2011 3:52 am

    They look great to me! And I love rhubarb in desserts, yum.

  6. June 9, 2011 7:52 am

    I think it looks pretty – but I do know what you mean about rhubarb going all green and brown. This sounds really delicious…I love how you say to “smoosh” the butter :P

  7. June 9, 2011 11:11 am

    L: I’m becoming a real rhubarb fiend too. Pity it took me so long to realise its potential in desserts…my Dad always used it raw in salads which put me off >.<

    H: Yeah, although I don't mind so much in preserves. As long as you use the more greeny bits for jams etc and the red bits in desserts I think it'll be smooth sailing. Hehe I've always though "smoosh" is a more accurate term when you're combining butter and sugar without incorporating air.

  8. June 9, 2011 11:08 pm

    What a pretty pink treat! I can’t remember ever having rhubarb, but that color is so stunning I can’t resist. I thought we wouldn’t be able to find it here in Saudi Arabia, but I came across a gorgeous bundle at the store just the other day. Hope they still have some in stock so I can make this!

  9. June 9, 2011 11:51 pm

    Thanks for the shout out! Glad my post inspired you, and these look amazing! I love the brown sugar variation. Yum!

  10. June 10, 2011 5:26 am

    These look so tasty and so fresh. Perfect for spring. You’re right, the recipe does look daunting, but upon reading it, I think I can handle it! Thank you :)

  11. June 10, 2011 12:34 pm

    T: Oh cool, it’s good to know rhubarb is in more places of the world than I thought!

    Q: Thank you for the excellent idea! I realised these use a lot less butter than lemon bars too, which is nice given the price of butter over here at the moment!

    E: Yay! It really did just take the same amount of time to make as a cake…hope you enjoy it :)

  12. Dianna permalink
    June 11, 2011 6:44 pm

    I bet this butterscotchy crust would go wonderfully with a fresh pineapple filling! Yum, can’t wait to try!

  13. June 17, 2011 2:34 pm

    Thanks for the link love! These bars look diiiivine!

  14. June 18, 2011 11:49 am

    That filling is so pretty. I love this recipe. And the photos are gorgeous too.

  15. June 18, 2011 12:11 pm

    D: Indeed it would!

    X: Thanks for the recipe! Am torn between pistachio and rhubarb macarons. Think I will have to wait for decent rhubarb to come back in season though :(

    R: It is quite pretty, although a bit more brown in real life heh. You could always reserve some of the rhubarb puree and drizzle it on top as well (maybe add some icing sugar if you want it to keep its shape).

  16. mairi29 permalink
    June 19, 2011 6:11 pm

    That is indeed the prettiest slice I have ever seen! And I love rhubarb so I can’t wait to give this one a try.

  17. June 23, 2011 11:19 pm

    Oh how I miss my rhubarb plant right about now! Must get onto planting another one soon :-)

  18. June 29, 2011 3:06 am

    Made these last night – yum! Mine came out bright pink, and I loved the addition of ginger to the crust. Thanks for sharing!

  19. March 2, 2012 9:38 pm

    Just made this – with a hazelnut crust as an alternative. Such a good time for rhubarb recipes, coming into autumn! Beautiful recipe – thanks!

  20. Donna M K Macdonald permalink
    May 12, 2013 5:09 am

    more of a question- CORNFLOUR- Wikipedia defines it as “could be Cornmeal- a flour ground from dried corn, or Cornstarch-a white powdered starch of maize corn or
    Wheat Starch- as it is know in Australia-
    I’m in Canada, and your recipe looks fantastic but which (or what) do I use

  21. May 14, 2013 3:07 pm

    Hi Donna, I am pretty sure cornmeal (at least in the US) is more like polenta, but I could be wrong! I’d try cornstarch over cornmeal anyway.

  22. Kate permalink
    May 31, 2013 4:30 am

    What sized pan?

  23. May 31, 2013 9:31 am

    Hi Kate, it’s 8×8″ preferably – mentioned just above the ingredients ;)

  24. June 10, 2013 7:03 am

    Hi Zo, just made this for a sunday supper treaty desert, couldn’t delay gratification long enough to wait for it to cool so the base perhaps not as firm as it would be but enjoying it warm with clotted cream so all is well…it’s to die for, thanks so much for the recipe. Big hit with my hubby too.

  25. June 10, 2013 7:04 am

    Donna, forgot to mention that cornmeal, polenta and cornflour are all the same thing really. I used cornmeal (fine ground polenta) and it worked really well. :)


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