Growing chayote squash is a win win project. It can be eaten from the root to the fruit and makes a lovely live covering for a gazebo as well. This unique native plant from central America has an interesting history. At one time it was considered as a replacement for the invasive kudzu vine which was introduced as a forage plant for cattle [ which proved to be a bad move 🙂 ]
Chayote is a rather bland flavored squash like a lot of winter squash are but readily take on the flavor of spices which makes them a desirable addition to a meal. It remains crisp after cooking and has the flesh color of Granny Smith apples. During the depression , some bakers made them into apple pies as the texture cooked was almost the same and they readily accept the spices and sugar.
The propagation methods are wildly cool also! You plant the whole fruit AFTER it develops a sizable sprout. The squash is a flattish semi hard lime green pear shaped fruit and the sprout comes from the end that has an indentation . Some says it looks like a butt crack but I think it looks like a grimacing old man’s mouth
After the sprout gets a little length on it the fruit will show signs of aging and is ready to plant. Sheila put it in a 5 gallon bucket in our bucket garden. Since the plant can reach lengths of 50+ feet it will require a lot of fertilizer we are sure. At this point the plant shows no sign of how big the leaves will be 🙂
Here are some great articles and recipes for this sturdy easy to grow food:
Chayote Mock Apple Pie claimed as being sold by Big Burger Giant!
In Australia, where it is called choko, a persistent urban legend is that McDonald’s apple pies were made of chayotes, not apples. Also during the depression in the USA rumors were that canned pears were actually chayotes.
Regardless the chayote will definitely make a suitable apple pie replacement in areas that do not allow fresh apples to be picked or purchased cheaply.
For the crust, combine the flour and salt then cut in the oil. Combine the vinegar and 2 tbls of cold water and stir in until smooth. Roll out the dough with a pin then press it into your pie pan making sure to leave a little sticking over the top of the edge for sealing to the top and making the decorative edging that classic pies have 🙂 Bake for 15 minutes in pre-heated oven and set aside.
Wash and cut the chayote squash lengthwise into quarters and remove the seed in the center. Place in a suitably sized pot and cover with water. Add 2 tbls of apple cider vineger and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until tender 9about 25 minutes]. Drain and cool quickly in cold water. Once cooled , slice as you would normally for a regular apple pie. In a large pan, bring ¼ cup of water, lemon juice, and spices to a simmer. Add the sliced chayote and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. In a large bowl, add the sugar and cornstarch and mix dry. This will help prevent the cornstarch from forming chunks when mixed into the simmering chayote mixture. Stir the dry mixture into the chayote mixture and cook until thick. [The mixture should resemble canned apple pie filling]
Pour the mixture into your pie shell.
For the topping, use the other half of the pie crust to form the top crust. Crimp the edges and make slits to allow steam to escape while cooking.
Cook for 45 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Cool until safe temperature and eat hot or cold.
This is the recipe we will be trying. It is adapted from a recipe from a recipe the Pam posted on her page. Her’s is for a crumble type topping and sounds great. Actually it probably would be better than ours for a first try as it would allow better control of the filling thickness than a traditional pie like ours 🙂
THIS IS ROUGH DRAFT AND WE WILL UPDATE AS WE TRY RECIPE: