This is one of my favorite summer recipes.
It's getting to be "zucchini" season here in the Midwest, and I'm all for a good zucchini bread. But this recipe is just plain fun!
Guaranteed, few - if any - will be able to guess that zucchini is the "secret" ingredient. (This recipe always makes me think of Mock Apple Pie - not so much for its resourcefulness, but rather its delicious trickery.)
And need I mention: A scoop of vanilla ice cream is the obvious accessory.Print
For the Zucchini:
- 8 cups zucchini, peeled, seeded and chopped into bite-size chunks (about 3 pounds)
- ⅔ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg (preferably freshly-grated)
For the Crust:
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cornmeal, medium grind
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp fine-grain salt (like table or sea salt)
- 1 ½ cups cold, unsalted butter, cubed (3 sticks)
- 12 oz blackberries, halved lengthwise (about 2 cups)
- 1 tsp cinnamon, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 15 x 10 x 1-inch pan. Set aside.
- For the Zucchini: In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, cook and stir the zucchini and lemon juice for 15-20 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender (but not mushy).
- Add 1 cup sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Simmer for 1 minute longer. Remove from heat and set aside.
- For the Crust: Combine the flour, cornmeal, 2 cups sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Stir ½ cup of the "crust" mixture into the zucchini mixture.
- Press two-thirds of the remaining crust mixture into the prepared pan.
- Spread zucchini over top.
- Sprinkle blackberries over zucchini.
- Crumble remaining one-third of crust mixture over zucchini and blackberries.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden and bubbly. Let cool completely before serving.
- Be sure to seed the zucchini, or the filling will be too watery.
- It's best to let the zucchini mixture cool slightly before assembling the bars. While the zucchini is cooking, I like to assemble the crust ingredients. Then, throw it in the freezer (still in the bowl) while the zucchini is cooling and the oven is preheating (this keeps the butter extra cold and helps create an extra flaky crust and crumble!). Once the oven is preheated, I start back up with Step 5.
- When pressing the crust mixture into the pan, make sure to use a good two-thirds of the mixture. This is forming the base of the bars. If there isn't enough crust to support the zucchini filling, the bars will be too delicate (but still super delicious).
- For the best results, use firm, tart blackberries.
- Toss the blackberries with 1-2 tablespoons of the remaining crust mixture before sprinkling the berries over the zucchini filling.
- This recipe originates from my days working at Taste of Home magazine. I've changed it up over the years, as this recipe reflects. But, the original is great, too!
Keywords: summer, cobbler, zucchini, bars