Today I decided to make curd bars. I was thinking of a lot of different pie variations, but everything that I thought of with regular flour crust had to be baked at a high temperature. My oven right now only goes as high as 250 degrees, so I scratched the pie crust idea but not the pie idea altogether. If I could only figure out a crumble crust that I had to par-bake at a low temperature than I could make some kind of pie.
So I decided to blend animal crackers and ritz together in the blender, until I got crumbles and then slowly add a melted fat to it, like I have seen in videos both online and on the television when making a crumble crust. I pulsed them good with some fat I used shortening but I think butter would have worked better. I then pressed it into an already greased Pyrex bar pan. I put it into my low temperature oven until I knew it was done, it was a nice golden brown and it smelled toasted.
I knew I wanted pie bars. I have been dying to make pies in bar form lately and I am not sure why, probably because cheese cake sounds better in a bar form, but I already used the cream cheese I had. But I still had plenty of great ingredients for pie I realized because I just got my schwans order.
I did get a bag of frozen berries from schwans and although I had some wonderful ice cream pie ideas I was mulling over, better thoughts prevailed and I made some berry-rhubarb curd instead. I also had some rhubarb frozen in a jar that I had gotten from the food bank and saved. It was perfect for this pie bar.
I made the curd by first making a sugar syrup then adding the rhubarb and frozen berries to it. After the berries and rhubarb had boiled for a long while and all but mashed into a juice I took the berry syrup off the heat and poured some out into a big bowl. Then I added about 3 whipped egg yolks to that bowl and mixed it with the still hot berry syrup. Then I added some corn starch to thicken it up, then I put it back into the pan of the rest of the syrup, (off the heat), and mixed it all in well together.
You see you do not want your egg yolks to get too hot or you will have scrambled egg yolks inside of berry syrup instead of a berry curd. I did it pretty well. And it was a purple wonder, I wish I would have taken pictures here. But these kinds of experiments I never like to ruin with progress pics, sometimes its more distracting to try and take pictures when you are making something technical, so I wait until it is done for my more technical recipes.
I baked the curd at 250 on top of my cookie crumble crust until it was a little overdone, I could smell it and see that the color almost faded around the corners so I knew that the curd had cooked because it had changed color on me. I was praying that it was still purple inside, because the outside had turned a bit brown on me.
But even though I had a once purple now brown curd creation sitting on the counter, I still pressed on and made the final layer, the meringue. I love meringue. Ever since I made myself learn how to make a lemon meringue pie from scratch have I love making meringue, its just so perfect. And who doesn’t love marshmallow on top of their pie bar? My son calls it marshmallow. He always eats the meringue off of anything I make for him first.. I love it so much I wrote a blog on how to make it right, I’ll add a pingback to it here asap.
So I made some meringue and plopped it on top of the brown curd. I was afraid I was wasting meringue until after I cooked the meringue and waited for the bars to cool and cut into them and got the greatest surprise, purple berry curd had survived and not only that but the bars cut perfectly and they were sweet enough and yummy. My son and I had a bar each with a scoop of ice cream and a sprinkle of leftover animal cracker crumble on top, it was a great way to end a horrible weekend and an awesome way to start a new week. With sweet treats to eat already.
Here are some pictures of the bars.