This morning I looked up various pie recipes, because I hear that Okara, that wonderfully pulpy by-product of tofu production, can be used in a “dump” pie to make its own crust. This was just in the service of, oh, making use of something we already have. I wasn’t thinking that we should put into use some of the SQUASH that is piling up by the boxload around here… But then I found, serendipitously? — that zucchini can be used in place of …apples? From yesterday’s Christian Science Monitor comes a recipe for… wait for it… Zapple Pie.
Is this something from the Midwest?! Remember those awful recipes for Ritz Mock Apple Pie (and I shouldn’t even include the link to that abomination!) that people used to make? This by turns horrifies and fascinates… See, West Coast people make, oh, ratatouille, with excess squash. But if you’re from Boston, maybe this is the way to do it.
This mock apple pie is a delicious way to sneak vegetables into your kids’ meals.
- 6 cups peeled, quartered, and thinly sliced zucchini (about 2 pounds)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 unbaked pie shell
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
To make the filling: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine zucchini, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Stir to mix and cook until tender, but not mushy, about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
In a large measuring cup or a small bowl, mix the flour with the remaining 1/2 cup lemon juice until smooth. Stir into the zucchini mixture. Continue to cook until the mixture thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
To make the topping: Combine flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Stir in the pecans or walnuts.
Spoon the filling into the pie shell. Top with half of the streusel topping. Place in the oven and reduce heat to 350 degrees F. Bake for 30 minutes, until the crust is browned and the filling bubbles.
Sprinkle the remaining topping over the pie. Turn on the broiler. Place pie under the broiler for about 3 minutes, until topping is browned.
Set the pie on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or completely cooled. It is best served on the day it is made. Serves 6 to 8.
Source: From ‘The Classic Zucchini Cookbook’ by Nancy Ralston, Marynor Jordan, and Andrea Chesman
Oh, go ahead. Throw some okara in the crust. Why eat anything recognizable?
From The City Gardener’s Cookbook, which came out in 1997 comes a better idea for excess zucchini than even ratatouille.
FUDGY ORANGE-ZUCCHINI CAKE WITH ORANGE GLAZE
This dense orange cake, drizzled with orange glaze, is always a favorite at the annual harvest banquet.
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 3/4 cup butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 1/2 cups grated zucchini
- 3 tablespoons grated orange zest
- 2 tbsp. cardamom powder
- 1 cup chopped hazelnuts
- 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioner’ sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
calendula blossoms and petals, tuberous begonia blossoms, or orange mint sprigs, for garnish; some people add miniature chocolate chips.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together and set aside. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla and milk to the butter mixture. Stir in the dry ingredients and mix until well blended. Fold in the zucchini, orange zest and nuts. Pour into a greased and floured bundt cake pan. Bake 50 to 60 minutes. Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes before turning out onto a rack.
To make the glaze, ina bowll mix together the sugar, orange juice and vanilla. While the cake is still warm, drizzle with the glaze. Garnish with flowers or mint spigs.
I hear you can add Grand Marnier to the glaze with some excellent results. I look forward to trying at least one of these… guess which one.