Because it’s Monday, I think we deserve a slice of homemade pie.
But, ideally, without all the actual work of having to make a pie.
So here I am today, proposing to you that we indulge our sweet tooth with these Cherry-Rhubarb Pie Bars instead. I hope you say “yes”.
Kind of like a cross between a fruit pie and a shortbread tart, these Cherry-Rhubarb Pie Bars might just be my new favorite Summer dessert (at least until I find my next favorite dessert). Sweet. But not overly so. With a good mix of textures to keep each bite interesting. AND they turned out to be the most perfect shade of pink (#millenialpink). Obviously, I’m feeling all the feels over these babies.
I also can’t stress enough how easy these are to prepare. No rolling, chilling or crimping required. And the fact that this recipe feeds a crowd (you get a whole 9 X 13-inch pan), makes these treats ideal for backyard gatherings and poolside parties. Or toss a couple in your picnic basket and get your butt to the beach. You’ll be glad you did!
As it turns out, rhubarb and cherries are a pretty good pairing. I’ve done the classic rhubarb + strawberries many times. And last year I played with rhubarb + raspberries. But this was my first time adding cherries to the equation. I’m not sure why I never thought to do that before. It seems kind of obvious to me now. But there is no sense in lamenting about the past. Instead, I’m excited to move forward and explore this combination in other recipes. And with cherry season on the horizon, now is the perfect time to do just that.
I also tried using pistachio meal for the first time (which I just made myself by finely grinding shelled pistachios in my food processor) instead of almond or hazelnut meal, which I typically reach for when baking. The pistachio meal compliments the rhubarb and cherries nicely. And I encourage you to give it a try. But if you’re not feeling it, you can substitute it with something else. These pie bars are very forgiving.
I’m sharing these Cherry-Rhubarb Pie Bars as part of our monthly Eat Seasonal round-up organized by Becky from Vintage Mixer. At the start of each month, myself and some of my blogging friends create new recipes (links below!) highlighting all the wonderful fruits and vegetables that are currently in season. Additionally, Becky posts an extensive list of recipe suggestions over on her monthly seasonal eating guide. I hope you check them all out and find some inspiration for the month of June!
Cherry-Rhubarb Pie Bars
For the Crust and Topping:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup finely ground pistachios
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Zest from 1 lemon
- 1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Filling:
- 2 cups sliced rhubarb
- 2 cups cherry halves (stemmed and pitted)
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9 X 13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In your food processor with the blade attachment, pulse together the flour, finely ground pistachios, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest. Add the butter, egg and vanilla extract. Pulse until the dough resembles a course meal. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss together the rhubarb, cherries, corn starch and lemon juice. Set aside.
- Transfer about two-thirds of the dough into your prepared baking pan. Using your hands, press it down firmly into an even layer. Then spread the fruit mixture in a single layer over top. Sprinkle the remaining dough over the fruit.
- Transfer the baking pan to your pre-heated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely before slicing and serving.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 2-3 days.
June Eat Seasonal Recipes
Rhubarb & Orange Frangipane Galette by Simple Bites
Roasted Strawberry Yogurt Pops by Completely Delicious
Greek Three Bean Salad by Flavor the Moments
Chunky Citrus Guacamole by Foodie Crush
Strawberry Lime Chopped Salad by Vintage Mixer
Minty Sweet Pea Hummus by She Likes Food
Simply Strawberry Pie by Joy Food Sunshine
French Green Lentil and Quinoa Salad by Letty’s Kitchen
Cherry Rolls by Kitchen Confidante
Pimento Cheese Spread w/ Pickled Green Garlic, Radishes and Rhubarb by Food for My Family
I definitely say “yes” 🙂 Loving this rhubarb/cherry combination. Since I still have lots of rhubarb around, I’ll be trying this!
Glad you said yes, Jennifer! Let me know if you try them out!
I will totally join you in eating this delicious treat on a Monday! Perfect way to help me cope with the fact that the weekend is over!
Right? The weekend goes by WAY too quickly!
Um yes, I’ll be right over! I haven’t used many different nut meals in baking yet, but now you’ve got my wheels turning on a recipe 🙂 These look TOO easy to put together, so I’m into it!
Glad you’re into it! And I definitely want to try and use pistachios more!
Ummm YES! I’ll indulge my sweet tooth in some of these gorgeous pie bars! The cherry-rhubarb combo has been on my radar for a while and I have yet to try it so I can’t wait to make these. As much as I like making pies, it’s time consuming, I love this option. And the pistachios in the crust sound heavenly!
Definitely way less time required! I hope you try them out!
Yes, PLEASE! This is my favorite kind of summer bar Liz! I just made something similar with blueberries and strawberries. Yay for summer and ALL the juicy berries!
I can never get enough Summer fruits!
Love this change up from the usual strawberry rhubarb combo. Fortunately my rhubarb keeps producing straight through the summer, so I’ll have a shot at these bars when the cherries arrive.
Yay! I know you’ll love them, Aimee!
Isn’t pistachio meal great?! This pairing sounds amazing, Liz. Beautiful!
Yes! I definitely want to use it more now!
Cherries and rhubarb are made for each other, especially in these pie bars! I love how this is perfect for some who is like me – pie challenged!
Well I hardly believe that you’re pie challenged. Lol. But yes, definitely try these babies out!
Such a fabulous combination of flavors and textures, Liz! I love cherries and rhubarb together, although it’s been too long since I’ve had it. The pistachios are such a delicious addition… I’ve gotta give that a go! We’ve got lots of rhubarb coming in but I’m still waiting on local cherries.. I’m going to have to freeze that rhubarb so I can pair them with cherries! Gorgeous work, Liz!
That sounds like a good plan. I went cherry picking once when I lived in Washington and it was so fun. It’s not something that we really have here (unfortunately). So I have to stick to cherries from the grocery store!
I definitely am going to try these with pistachio meal–clever twist! The cherries give theses bars perfect color–that we don’t always get with rhubarb. Pinning!
I’m obsessed with the color of these! Thanks, Letty!
I say yes to this!! I will for sure be making these asap!
Yay! Let me know if you try them, Becky!
Yes! I am kinda tired of strawberry rhubarb pie – these are perfect 🙂
I hope you try them out! The cherries are a nice change up!
Do you think these would work with thawed, frozen organic cherries instead of fresh? There won’t be organic cherries here in northern lower Michigan for at least a month.
You could certainly use frozen cherries that have been completely thawed.
These are so fun! I haven’t made a pie in forever but could totally see myself making these! I’m wishing I had these for lunch right now!
I hope you try them, Izzy!
OMG! This turned out waaaaaaaay better than anticipated! I bought a cherry pitter and had too much fun w my new toy as well—so thanks for that too!
Yes! I cherry pitter is a good one to have. Normally I’m not a fan of single use kitchen gadgets, but the cherry pitter is worth it! So glad you loved the bars!
One question, are you using sweet cherries or “pie” cherries? In our climate we grow the tart pie cherries. Since you do not add any sugar to the fruit, I am thinking this would be pretty sour.
I used sweet cherries, not sour/tart cherries.
Could I leave out the ground pistachios? Would you substitute with an extra half cup of flour?
Yes, I would add in some flour to make up for the volume loss on the ground pistachios. You could also use almond flour or hazelnut flour. Hope this helps!
I read instructions a couple of times & don’t see the pistachis mentioned there.
Hi Lisa. You add them in step 2. I’ve adjusted the text to make it even more clear. TY!
So happy to find this recipe! Just made this from homegrown tart cherries and fresh rhubarb from a friend. I took 1/3 cup sugar from the crust and added it to the fruit. Also used 1.5 Tbsp cornstarch, since my pies always turn out runny. Didn’t have pistachios, so I ground up blanched almonds and used almond extract instead of vanilla. Excellent!! Love your blog!! (We’re foodies and aspiring skippers.) Thanks!!
So glad you love the recipe, Heidi! One of my favs, too!
Where can you buy ground pistachios?
I grind them in my food processor. I’ve never seen them sold ground (just shelled).
These look fantastic. It’s cherry season and I still have a ton of rhubarb in my garden. I am sure you can substitute 1:1 gluten free flour mix for the regular flour. Thoughts. I am going to try it tonight and let you know.Thanks
I think a cup for cup GF mix (like King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill) would work great for these!
I made these yesterday for the 4th of July pary I went to. I have a ton of Rhubarb in my garden and had frozen cherries in the freezer. Recipe very easy and straight forward. I drained the cherries very well and sqeezed some of the remainng juice out of them. Like another reviewer, I, too, do not like soggy pie bars so instead of t he corn starch I put in a box of Sure Jell”. I did not have pistachios but did have almond flour.
They came out AMAZING!!! Everyone att he party loved them. Thanks so much for a great recipe.
Glad everyone enjoyed these, Karen!
Delicious!! Very much enjoying these; great to share. I also made these from frozen cherries and frozen rhubarb (about 3:1 cherry: rhubarb). I did 2 Tbsp cornstarch, which might have been a bit much, so 1.5 T might be the right number per the prior review. Everything else I followed, except I used a pastry blender instead of a food processor as we don’t have one of those. Took me probably an extra 20-30 min to she’ll pistachios and hand blend in the cold butter. Have saved and will make again.
Glad you enjoyed it (and shared it!). And great to know it works with frozen cherries and rhubarb. Thanks for sharing!