Here’s a treat with a trick and not a single apple was damaged in making this recipe for Zucchini Mock Apple Pie. Halloween or harvest, this is a different way to use the summer vegetable harvest.
You get the apples’ yellow color and just the right texture by simmering the thinly sliced zucchini in water and vinegar before adding the classic apple pie flavors.
Here are a couple of tips: For a flaky pie crust, freeze sticks of margarine or butter, then use a box grater to grate the butter into the flour. It works better than incorporating even small cubes of butter into the flour.
To slice the zucchini, if you have a mandolin, use it. carefully (they are very sharp) and leave the stem at the ends of the zucchini halved so you are less likely to cut your finger as you go towards the end.
Treat with a Trick: Mock Zucchini Apple Pie (preparation; time about 1 hour to make and 1 hour to bake. Makes 1 double crust pie: 4-6 servings…8 if you’re stingy.)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks frozen margarine or butter (ground into flour using a box grater)
1/2 cup of cold water.
Grate the butter into the flour and slowly stir in just enough water for the dough to come together. Divide into two portions and flip over plastic wrap and loosely form into a disc. Wrap and put in the freezer for 20 minutes or put in the fridge longer if needed. The dough can be frozen, but must be thawed before stretching.
3 medium zucchini, peeled and cut lengthwise (about 6 cups, sliced)
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar*
1 teaspoon lemon zest* (substitute 2 tablespoons lemon juice for vinegar and zest if you have)
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (more or less to taste. I really like cinnamon so I used 1 full teaspoon. when I first made the recipe. I didn’t mind, but it may have been a bit strong..)
1/4 tsp each ground ginger, grated nutmeg
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
After halving the zucchini lengthwise, use a spoon to scoop out the seeds in the center, then slice the squash 1/8-inch thick (quick and easy for even slices on a mandolin).
Bring the water and vinegar to a simmer in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add zucchini slices. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini softens and turns yellow.
Drain well in a colander and let cool to room temperature.
While the zucchini slices cool, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Roll out bottom pie crust and place in pie pan. Place in refrigerator until ready to fill.
Toss the cooled zucchini in the flour, sugar, and spice mix to coat well. Pour filling into prepared pie crust. Roll out the cold top crust large enough to cover the pie with about a half-inch overhang all around. sprinkle top of filling with bits of the 2 tablespoons butter or margarine. Wet your fingers and run it all the way around the bottom crust edge before placing the top crust and pressing down on the wet edges to seal. Trim the edges and crimp with your fingers or the tines of a fork. If you have crust tears, simply take pieces of dough, moisten the areas around the tear with water, and press the patch into place.
Beat the egg with a little water and brush the top of the dough to help brown it. Dust with granulated sugar and cut a few 1″ slices on top to allow steam to escape. Fold foil strips over outer edge of crust to prevent over-browning.
Place the pan on a foil-lined baking sheet to catch any bubbles. Bake at 350 for about an hour until top is golden brown. Remove foil and move cake to high rack for last 5 minutes of baking to brown edge without burning.
Allow cake to cool at least half an hour before cutting to allow liquid to settle.
Serve with vanilla ice cream.
(Before the ice cream part, if you’re using margarine, this recipe can be totally dairy-free if needed, the pie crust works just fine using margarine instead of real butter.)
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