Sunday, May 25, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Bars

  May long weekend has come and gone and this year we 'braved' the ferries and travelled into the West Kootenays to attend my nephew Max and his fiance April's Engagement Celebration.  This is a special ceremony where the family gives the blessing to the couple on their engagement, in my Grandmother's time the people did not have the money or time for big fancy weddings and this special Ceremony was as good as a Wedding.   This ceremony requires the two families coming together and the singing of traditional songs and the reading of special psalms as part of the 'Zapoi' - Engagement Blessing. 
  It is also the weekend for the USCC Youth Festival and we were fortunate to get tickets to Saturday evenings program.  It has been too many years since we have travelled down on this long weekend.  A wonderful evening full of song, laughter and peace.
The beautiful part of any celebration is that we are so fortunate to see and hug all our family and extended family all in one day!  We welcome April and her family into our very own - you will fit in very nicely!
Now getting back to the rhubarb, I had picked some and also had a container of strawberries that needed to be used and so became the Strawberry Rhubarb Bars...I make a delicious Apple Bar and decided to substitute the apples for the strawberry/rhubarb filling.....with a twist.  a touch of I had planned to deliver these bars to my Sister In Law but as it happened we decided to overnight at my daughter and son in law in Kamloops along the way - well they had to be sampled there first.  The next day we drove to Castlegar and stopped to visit with my Mother and once again the Strawberry Rhubarb Bars needed to be sampled and 'approved' by Mom.  Well they ended up in my Mom's freezer waiting for my Dad to also sample later.....and that meant my Mom approved!
These bars are very easy to put together, freeze quite well and are so very tasty.

Strawberry Rhubarbs Bars

The ingredients you will need for the filling.

The strawberries and rhubarb are diced, ready for the sugar and cornstarch.

The ingredients you will need for the pastry.

The coconut butter and vegetable shortening ready to be cut into the flour.
The coconut butter and vegetable shortening are nicely cut into the flour mixture.

The egg yolk is mixed with the milk, and the egg white is separated and set aside.

The dough has come together nicely and ready to be rolled.

Here is the first of the layers rolled out and ready for the pan.

The fruit mixture is added to the pastry in the pan.

The second 'sheet' of pastry is rolled out and added on top of the fruit filling.
Edges are sealed and ready for the egg white brushing.

The egg white is whisked to 'foamy' and ready for the top pastry layer.

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup coconut butter
1/2 cup shortening
pinch of salt
1 egg (separated)
Strawberry/Rhubarb Filling:
3 cups rhubarb, diced
5 cups strawberries, diced (2lb-32 oz. container)
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup powdered sugar (icing sugar)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
water to make a 'runny' mixture
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Method for the pastry:
Mix (cut in with a pastry cutter) the first 3 ingredients in a large bowl until crumbly.
In a measuring cup add the egg yolk and enough milk to make 2/3 cup of liquid.
Mix the egg yolk and milk until well combined, add this to the dry ingredients and combine
until it all comes together (like a pie dough). If too dry add more milk a Tablespoon at a time.
 Divide into two balls and place on a floured counter.
  Roll out one of the balls into a rectangular shape to fit a smaller cookie sheet.
Place rolled out dough onto the cookie sheet and top with strawberry/rhubarb mixture. (see below)
Roll out the second ball of dough and cover the fruit mixture, seal edges.
In a small bowl beat the egg white until foamy (with a fork or whisk) brush over top of the pastry.
Method for the filling:
In a large bowl combine the diced rhubarb, strawberries, sugar and cornstarch.
Spread over pastry dough.  Do this once you have the bottom pastry rolled out as once
the sugar has been added to the fruit it will start to release it's juices.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. 
Remove and place on cooling rack - drizzle with glaze while still warm.
Cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing.....freeze any that are left between layers
of wax paper in a freezer safe container.
'Plant your own garden and decorate Your own Soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring you Flowers.'
Veronica A. Shoffstall

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