Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Zucchini Apple Pie

 Yes, you read that right. Zucchini. Apple. Pie.

A few years ago I was invited to meet the family of a guy I had been going out with. His step-mom made us dinner and for dessert she brought out some pie.

She served everyone a slice and we dug in. It was really good. After about 3 bites my date looked up and said "Mmm, this is good, what kind of pie is this?"

At that moment I was so embarrassed for him. I thought:
 "Really, has he never had apple pie before? Who doesn't know what apple pie is. I mean, what else could these big green slices be?"

So I leaned over and said quietly "It's apple pie."

Then to my horror he asked again, only louder "So, what kind of pie is this?"

I just sat there and stared at him, then his step-mom replied. "Oh, this is zucchini pie."

"What!" I was shocked, I could not taste it. It tasted and looked just like apple pie. I would've bet my car on the fact that it was apple pie.

I guess that's why they say 'only fools are positive.'

The joke was most definitely on me.

But it was a delicious one so I didn't mind much.

Since this is the time of year everyone with zucchini plants has them coming out their ears and can't seem to give them away; I thought I'd share this little recipe with you.

It will be a fun way to use some of your bumper crop. And,  it's always great watching people's faces when you tell them what it is they're eating.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Get dough for a double crust pie ready for a 9in pan. You can either make your own or if you don't feel like it, use store bought pie crust dough.

 If you want to make it from scratch check the bottom of this post for a no fail recipe.

Grab some zucchinis. I only used 2. You want about 4-5 cups once they are sliced.

Peel the zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. I used a measuring spoon because it left a nice round center. 

Meanwhile, put a pan with water on the stove and heat to boiling. This will be used to steam your zucchini.

Slice the zucchini halves into nice half moon slices.

Throw your zucchinis in the boiling water and cook about 6-7 minutes until they are just barely fork tender. Empty the steamed zucchini onto a paper towel-lined plate, sprinkle with a little salt and drain.

In another bowl combine:
Add 1/2 cup brown sugar 
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar 
4 Tbls white all-purpose flour


Return drained zucchini back to pan and stir in the sugar mixture. It will be pretty runny, that's ok. Make sure everything is dissolved.


Pour everything into the 9 in pie crust. 

Top your filling with a few pats of butter. About 1 1/2 Tbls.

Carefully place the top of your pie crust on the pan. Go around the edges with a fork or your fingers to give it a decorative look. I also like to make a few slits on the top and sprinkle a little white sugar over it. Just to make it prettier.

Cook it in a preheated 400 degree oven for 35-40 min. Remove and allow to cool. The liquid will still be runny but will thicken as it cools.

When it's time for dessert, top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and enjoy!


No Fail Pie Crust Recipe
1 cup flour
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbls sugar
1/4 cup cold water

Combine flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry cutter or rubber spatula. Add water and mix until the mixture forms a ball and holds together. Roll out to 1/8 inch thickness on a well-floured board and add more flout as needed to prevent it from sticking.

Shape and place in pie pan. Add filing and bake as directed.

Tips:
I don't like my crust very thick so this was fine for my double crust. If you want a thicker crust then I would either double the recipe or make a 1.5 batch.


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