We still have lots of pecans from this autumn’s harvest and the choko vine is giving us a bountiful crop of its fruits. The humble choko, also called chayote in the US, is a much maligned fruit that can be bland when not prepared well but it has its uses. It takes the flavour of any ingredient that it is cooked with and so makes a useful filler if you are short of a particular ingredient. When harvested from the garden, and not too big, chokos can be used skin and all with only the seed section removed.
This recipe uses choko and the tang of Granny Smith green apples, and lemon with a delicious pecan and coconut crumble topping.
Choko and Apple Pie with Streusel Topping
- 1 cup flour
- 60 g butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 Tblsp chilled water
- 1 large or 2 medium chokos, cut in half, seeds removed and sliced very thinly
- 3 large granny smith apple, cored, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup of caster sugar
- the juice of one lemon
- 2 Tblsp of custard powder
- 3/4 cup flour
- 100 g melted butter
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, pressed down well
- 1/4 cup of pecans, chopped
- 1/4 cup of coconut
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 200º C F
Use a pie dish for baking. First make the pastry and refrigerate then prepare the streusel topping, then the filling and prepare the pie pastry while the filling is cooling.
- Place cup of flour and salt in food processor and using the metal blade, process for 10 seconds
- Add the chopped butter and process for 10 seconds or until the mixture resembles bread crumbs
- Add the water through the feed tube and process until the pastry forms adding a little extra drop if needed.
- Wrap tightly in cling wrap and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes while you prepare the vegetables.
- After 30 minutes, (and just after preparing the filling and the topping) roll out the pastry into a circle a little larger than the pie pan and carefully line the pan pressing into the inner edges and trimming off the extra
- Using a fork, prick the pastry all over taking care not to go through the whole thickness.
- Use the index finger of your left hand to press into the edge of the pastry while pushing down with the thumb and forefinger of the right hand all around the edge. This will form a scalloped edge. Press the handle end of a teaspoon into each scallop to give definition.
- The pastry pie pan is now ready for filing
Choko and Apple Filling:
- Steam the choko and apple slices till tender, approx 20 mins.
- Remove from the steamer and mash the fruit and put into a large bowl then allow to cool
- Add sugar, lemon juice and the two tablespoons of custard powder.
- Stir through to combine everything
- Spoon into the pastry case and smooth the top with a spatula
- Mix together together the flour, light brown sugar, coconut and chopped pecans and cinnamon
- Add the melted butter and combine well with a fork
- Sprinkle over choko and apple mixture spreading it evenly
Baking the pie:
- Brush the exposed edges of the pie with milk
- Put the pie dish into the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes
- Lower the heat to 160º C F and bake for a further 20-35 minutes or until the pie is nicely browned.
- Allow to cool for 40 minutes to all the filling to stabilise before serving, or at least 15 minutes if you cant wait. Serve with cream or ice cream.