At the Markets: Strawberries, Rhubarb for Meringue Bars

by June 7, 2011 at 11:00 am 1,678 0

Alejandra Owens, Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Bars, Borderstan

The finished product: Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Bars (Alejandra Owens)

Editor’s note: We asked our food writer, Alejandra Owens, for a recipe that was good for the produce now being sold in the farmers’ markets at Dupont and 14th and U Streets NW. Right now the local farmers’ markets are full of rhubarb and strawberries — the strawberries from local farmers are the real kind, the ones that actually smell and taste like strawberries. Alejandra pointed us to Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Bars, which she first posted May 12, 2010 on her own food blog, One Bite At A Time. The recipe is below the fold.

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From Alejandra Owens. You can catch her on Twitter @frijolita.

Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Bars

I went to the 14th and U Street NW farmers’ market a couple weekends ago and got some rhubarb. For the very first time… in my whole life. See, about a year or so ago I was at a dinner party with Don’t Forget The Flour and she made this amazing strawberry rhubarb crumble thing. Ever since then I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to make something with rhubarb. I even yanked her recipe from her and have been keeping it, waiting for the perfect situation to bust it out!

Alejandra Owens, Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Bars, Borderstan

You can find fresh rhubarb at local farmers’ markets right now. (Alejandra Owens)

I asked the guy working the booth to give me a lesson in rhubarb since I knew nothing and here’s what he told me: cut off the tough ends and the leafy tops, even if the whole stalk isn’t red you can still use the whole thing (though you won’t get a pinkish hue to all that you make) and there are a couple of varieties of rhubarb, but both have essentially the same taste. Sound about right, rhubarb fans?

Since there’s been no shortage of amazing rhubarb recipes on the foodie blogs lately, I really wanted something that would stand out. More perusing at the farmers’ market revealed a table full of recipes, one of which was for rhubarb meringue. Done and done!

Alejandra Owens, Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Bars, Borderstan

Yes, you can make meringue. (Alejandra Owens)

A few tweaks…adding strawberries…including vanilla extract…to make it my own and wowy zowy! Let’s just say, I was amazed by myself, my new hand mixer (more on that later) and the rhubarb. This was quickly consumed by coworkers the next day and everyone had a smile on their face after they left my office.


Recipe: Strawberry Rhubarb Meringue Bars

Adapted from a recipe from the 14th and U Streets NW Farmers’ Market.


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup flower
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 eggs separated
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups cubed rhubarb and cored, diced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar


  1. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix butter, 1 cup flour and 1 tablespoon sugar. Press into ungreased 9 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan. I’d like that beeznatch with parchment paper… it’ll make slicing bars later much easier. Bake 10 minutes and remove from oven.
  3. Mix egg yolks, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, salt and half and half. Stir in strawberries and rhubarb. Pour over baked crust. Bake for 45 minutes.
  4. Beat egg whites until foamy. Beat in 1/3 cup sugar a tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until stiff and fluffy. Spread over strawberry and rhubarb mixture and bake until lightly brown, about 10 minutes.
  5. Let cool and cut until 9 bars.


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