In my hometown, Summer didn’t start until Alice’s Fruit Stand opened. Trips to Alice’s on dry, hot California days with my Mom are among the highlights of my childhood food memories. Located just outside of town down a gravel road near the high school, a little white stand with a red roof and a giant orange peach atop was home to fresh from the garden summer produce.
I remember the dirty ceiling fans and the misters spewing sticky warm water across the foyer; I remember how the counters were littered with crates of cherries, apricots, heirloom tomatoes, sweet corn, and Alice’s infamous loaves of zucchini bread. We never left without ambrosia melon, and pounds upon pounds of summer sqaush, despite the fact that we had it coming out of our ears at home.
The woman who owned Alice’s (her name was not, surprisingly, Alice) and grew all of the produce nearby was warm, soft, and full of love and light. Wispy gray strands of hair escaped her braid matching her no-fuss, minimalist personality. Her hugs smelled like butter, and her enthusiasm kept people coming back summer after summer. She kept a wicker basket of recipe cards near the cashbox, and as customers paid for their produce she would encourage her renditions for whatever we happened to be buying.
Nobody left Alice’s without the Zucchini Cobbler pitch. Vegetables for dessert are a hard sell for most people, let alone an eight-year-old like me. “Trust me,” she’d say, “It tastes just like apple cobbler, and you won’t even know the difference.”
My mom had faith. She always has faith. With some added pressure to alleviate the stockpile of summer squash, we peeled, we chopped, and “cobbler-ed” our zucchini, just as Alice’s had ordered. The result? Perfection. The little card for this recipe remains a keepsake in my Mom’s recipe books.
I’ve given the original recipe a bit of a makeover with edits to the fat, amount of sugar, and grains. In short, Alice’s version is basically a 1:1:1 ratio of butter, flour, and zucchini. It was good, but… oh boy.
- 12 cups zucchini, peeled and chopped into quarters
- 1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- ¾ cup brown rice syrup (or raw sugar)
- 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 3 cups of gluten free oats, ground to a course flour in a food processor (or organic bakers flour)
- ¾ cup raw sugar
- 1 cup raw coconut oil (or cold butter)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
Stir in 1/2 cup of crust into the zucchini mixture. Press 1/2 of remaining crust mixture into greased baking pan, spread zucchini over top, and crumble crust to just cover the zucchini. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Bake for 35 minutes. Enjoy à la mode fresh from the oven, or allow to cool and fridge it for at least an hour. When I was a kid I loved it cold, and turns out I still do.