These Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars have a pastry crust, homemade strawberry rhubarb pie filling, and are topped with a brown sugar crumb. Whether topped with ice cream, whipped cream, or a vanilla glaze, these pie bars are a summer staple!
These Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Bars are one of my favorite summer desserts. Filled with fresh strawberries and rhubarb, these fruit crumb bars are irresistible.
I’m a very recent convert to Strawberry and Rhubarb pie. It wasn’t until last year that my best friend convinced me to try my hand at a classic like old fashioned strawberry rhubarb pie.
After one bite of this Homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, I was convinced and slightly remiss that I had waited until my late twenties to try something I *might* now consider one of my all time favorite desserts.
Rhubarb is typically in season from spring to early summer, or at least that’s when I can find rhubarb in California. 😉
So, before the season passes you by, you should definitely give these Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars a try.
Let’s talk about why these strawberry rhubarb bars loaded with a brown sugar crumb topping is the best recipe ever.
- These pie bars are made with an all butter pastry crust, so this strawberry rhubarb crumb bar recipe is extra buttery and flaky. (Although this Cream Cheese Pie Crust would be amazing too!)
- The crumb topping is made with brown sugar, flour and butter. Three ingredients and you have this amazing sweet, crunchy topping that pairs perfectly with both strawberry and rhubarb.
- There is a slightly higher strawberry to rhubarb ratio. It keeps these pie bars sweet with just a hint of rhubarb tang.
I know making a pie completely from scratch can be intimidating, however, this particular pie recipe is fairly easy and straight forward. I know, coming from someone who L-O-V-E-S making homemade fruit pies, you might be rolling your eyes. However, I really do think you’ll find these Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Bars easier to make than you might think.
First of all, let’s talk ingredients for these crumb bars:
- Pie Crust:
- butter, flour, salt and cold water
- all you need are these 4 ingredients to make an ultra flaky butter pie dough that is easy to roll out and transfer to your baking sheet (plus it makes for the best flaky pie crust!!)
- Strawberry Rhubarb Filling:
- Strawberries (I would highly suggest using fresh strawberries for this pie filling rather than using frozen)
- Rhubarb (similarly, I would highly suggest using fresh rhubarb instead of frozen)
- Granulated sugar
- Brown sugar
- Cinnamon (it complements the strawberries so well)
- Vanilla Extract
- Orange zest & juice (you could substitute lemon juice and zest as well)
- Crumb Topping
- Brown sugar
Apart from the fresh strawberries and rhubarb, most of these ingredients are pantry staples, making this pie super simple.
I have some answers below to some FAQ’s I get about these crumb bars:
- Do I have to make this in a sheet pan?
- While these are crumb bars, aka pie turned into a portable bar, you can make this recipe in a regular, deep dish pie plate (this recipe is too big for a small pie plate).
- Additionally, while I used a 1/4 sheet pan for these bars, you can use a 9×13 (or 8×11) baking dish instead.
- Check out this Peach Slab Pie recipe if you’re digging the pie bar idea!
- Can I use frozen strawberries or frozen rhubarb?
- I have not tested this recipe with anything but fresh, and while you are more than welcome to test out frozen, my suggestion is to use fresh. Why? Because both strawberries and rhubarb are extremely liquid-y when cooked. This recipe has the perfect amount of flour and cornstarch to keep the filling juicy without being overtly liquid-y.
- Frozen strawberries and rhubarb, when thawed, tend to have a lot of extra liquid, even when thoroughly dried and drained, which can make for a soggy pie.
- Can I use a store bought crust?
- Yes, you absolutely can. If you use store bought crusts, like Pillsbury, you might need to use both if you plan on making these into crumb bars (if you’re making a traditional pie, one crust should be fine).
Some quick baking tips and tricks to help make this Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars Recipe 100% successful the first time out:
- When making the homemade crust, make sure you use ice cold water. Cold water and cold butter make for very flaky pie crust. If your dough is too warm, the crust will be harder to work with and will not be nearly as flaky.
- Try to keep your rhubarb and strawberries cut in evenly sized pieces. This will help your filling to bake evenly.
- As soon as you see the filling start to bubble and the top crumb layer is golden brown, the pie is done. If you leave the pie in too long, the filling will become gelatinous rather than a typical pie filling that both holds together yet is still juicy on the inside.
- I use a combination of cornstarch and flour to keep the pie filling thick and stable without it being a puddly of juice.
Who is ready for a taste of summer??
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 10 Tbsp butter, cold and cubed
- 4-5 Tbsp cold water
- 3 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 2 1/2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2” pieces
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 2 tsp orange juice
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 10 Tbsp butter, cold and cubed
- Whipped Cream
- Ice Cream
In the bowl of a standing mixer (or in a large bowl if you are using a pastry cutter or a fork), mix flour and salt together.
With your mixer on low (or with your pastry cutter/fork), work the butter into the flour mixture (a little at a time) until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add in ice water, 1 Tbsp at a time, until the dough just comes together (I used approx. 5 Tbsp).
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and form dough into a ball (or a disc), cover in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a large bowl, mix strawberries, rhubarb, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon together.
- Next, add in cornstarch, flour, orange zest, orange juice and vanilla extract. Mix together. Set aside.
- In a bowl, mix flour and brown sugar together. Using a fork or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the mixture, a little at a time until the mixture resebles coarse crumbs.
- On a floured surface, roll out your dough into a large rectangle, slightly longer and wider than your sheet pan. Transfer dough to your sheet pan (I like to transfer the dough by loosely wrapping it around my rolling pin and then unrolling it over the sheet pan).
- Gently press dough down into the baking sheet. Remove any excess pie dough on the edges (leaving about 1/2” of overhang).
Tuck the extra 1/2” of dough underneath the dough (this makes a thick outer crust edge), then crimp the edges of your pie.
- Pour filling into the crust, spreading it in an even layer.
- Top with the brown sugar crumb mixture, evenly spreading it over the filling.
- Bake pie at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.
Turn the oven down to 375 degrees and bake for a remaining 40-45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the filling is starting to bubble. (If the pie edges start to brown too quickly, tent a piece of foil over the top of the pie.)
- Allow pie to cool before serving (the longer the pie cools, the thicker the filling will be).
- Cut into squares and serve with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.
*You may substitute lemon juice and lemon zest for the orange zest/juice.
Here are some other strawberry recipes you might love: