It's really hard to believe that it's March already. I'm not exactly sure how it happened but I think that while I was sleeping someone pulled a fast one, changed the clocks and calendars and made me believe that it'll be spring in a few short weeks. One of the first signs of spring for me is a dessert made with spring produce. One of the first things we see at the markets in spring is rhubarb ... add some farm fresh eggs and you've got the start of rhubarb custard bars I think a better name for these low fat treats is "Won't Last Long Rhubarb Custard Bars". It went so fast that I couldn't even get a clean shot without a piece taken out of it.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
3 large eggs
5 cups (1/2-inch) sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb (unthawed)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese
1/2 cup (4 ounces) block-style 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
Mint sprigs (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare crust, lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
To prepare filling, lightly spoon 1/3 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 1/3 cup flour and 1 1/2 cups sugar in a large bowl; add milk and eggs, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Stir in rhubarb. Pour rhubarb mixture over crust. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until set. Cool to room temperature.
To prepare topping, place 1/2 cup sugar, cheeses, and vanilla in a bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Gently fold in whipped topping; spread evenly over baked custard. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.