Almond Rhubarb Bars

My execution of this recipe wasn’t perfect (or very pretty), but they were quite enjoyable anyway.

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Crust
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold is preferable

Filling
3/4 cup sliced almonds,
1 tablespoon flour
A few pinches of sea salt
6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract, 2 teaspoons brandy or another flavoring of your choice 
1/2 pound rhubarb

Powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line pan with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Cut the butter into chunks, and add it to the bowl, then run the machine until the mixture forms large clumps.

Transfer the dough to your prepared baking pan and press it evenly across the bottom and 1/4-inch up the sides. Bake for 15 minutes, until very pale golden. For the sake of speed, transfer to a cooling rack in your freezer for 10 to 15 minutes while you prepare the filing.

Make the filling: In your food processor bowl, grind almonds, 6 tablespoons sugar, flour and salt together until the nuts are powdery. Cut the butter into chunks and add it to the machine. Run the machine until no buttery bits are visible. Add any flavorings and egg, blending until just combined. Spread filling over mostly cooled crust.

Arrange the fruit: Trim rhubarb and cut it half horizontally top to bottom, i.e. like splitting a hamburger bun, with the flatter part on the bottom. Keep tops and bottoms matched/stacked and cut stalks on the diagonal into about 1 1/4-inch lengths. The top and bottom of each segment should nicely “V” together. Sprinkle fruit with 1 teaspoon granulated sugar.

Bake the bars: For 45 to 55 minutes, until they’re golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the almond cream underneath comes out cream-free.

Let cool in pan on a rack, or in the fridge, or even in the freezer.

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