Call it what you like but it's good and is sure helpful when trying to use up a bountiful zucchini harvest. My mom used to make it, we all thought she was weird or at least a couple of us did. But then I was faced with her dilemna, a HUGE zucchini that just couldn't be eaten between the two of us no matter how I did the math. A few years ago, my neighbour gave me the infamous monster zucchini along with a recipe for soup which I still need to try but it was soo hot that summer that soup didn't sound good so I turned the oven on instead. Yep, who's weird now?
So I made "apple" pies and took one to my neighbours, but didn't tell them anything. Well, these lovely people have huge sweet teeth so when I asked if they liked it they just said "it wasn't so sweet." Well, I cracked and confessed that it wasn't apple pie. A week later they baked and brought me a cake ... a Bretagne Apple Tart .. hehe with whole apples in it .. there was no mistaking what kind of pie that was.
A few weeks later I made mock apple pie again and took it to a friends. The husband is a bigger apple pie freak than Axel. We served up the pie with whip cream and dug in. Eh, it was ok but not completely doing it for me. There is just something very strange about eating a pie that tastes like apple but you KNOW it's zucchini. About five minutes into his piece, we asked Andy what he thought, to which he declared "this is an apple, APPLE pie, yummm!" Axel and I nearly fell out of our chairs, offended Andy in the process and confessed again.
The impetus to nail this recipe came yesterday when I decided to make it to take along to a cooking evening with a bunch of other ladies who also harvest at our local CSA. We have an over-abundance of Courgettes (Zucchini) and Red Beets. In the course of our evening we made five different Red Beet recipes - but that's a whole other story.
In the meantime, I can report that the pie went down a success and a few ladies asked for the recipe. Normally I would happy pass on the one I used but after I started to follow it I discovered things which were just a bit wacky so I cut back on this, added that, changed another so I'm just calling this one my own and telling you how I did it.
Mock Apple Pie / Zucchini Pie / Courgette Pie
6-7 cups zucchini - peeled, seeded and chopped
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 Cup / 220g packed brown sugar
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
One package puff/filo pastry or a prepared pie crust or your favorite pie crust recipe. Yesterday I used a puff pastry, it was lovely and I think it's firmness held the pie together very well.
Crumble topping: Cut together: 1-1/4 Cups / 150g flour, 1/3 cup / 70g sugar, 1/3 cup / 75g butter or margarine.
- Peel the zucchini, cut into quarters, cut out seeds (unless they're very young zucchini and then I don't bother) and chop into apple-pie like chunks. Toss these into a frying pan with the lemon juice and cook just until they're done and still firm enough to bite into. Pour into a sieve and allow to drain thoroughly while they're cooling.
- In a separate bowl (large enough for your zucchini later), mix together the remaining four ingredients. Add the cooked zucchini and mix well.
- Line 9-10" / 23-25cm spring-form with a pastry or the crust of your choice. Place the filling in the crust and sprinkle crumble mixture on top. If you're using a spring-form, pull the edge of the pastry away from the pan and fold down over the pie.
- Bake at 400F / 200C for about 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Tongue in cheek disclaimer: I FORGOT to take a picture of the pie I made yesterday. I was stressing all day that it was going to turn into Mock Apple Flop and I completely forgot. So my pie looked different, but we just won't let that get in the way. It looked close enough.