Apple pie seems likely to scoff at recipes: Any mass of something sweet enough — from zucchini crackers — then sweetened then seasoned with lemon, cinnamon, and nutmeg can pass for apple pie. In the meantime, in the next few weeks, this recipe can be the bridge between the decreasing supply of zucchini and the increasing supply of apples.
Marjorie Pinkham in Ellsworth sent me this recipe, commenting, “It tastes so good, and how can it look like apple pie!?!?” I guess as long as we pair nutmeg cinnamon pie and a bit of sweet and sour flavor, it will taste like apple pie.
Marjorie has included a copy of the newspaper clipping that talks about the pie. This recipe (submitted by Audrey Cleveland from Orland, CA) recommends using large zucchini, overgrown but tender enough that you can dig your fingernail into the skin. Marjorie further explains that zucchini should be cooked until tender and crispy and that a 9 inch pie really needs 4 full cups to not look thin. Of course, I guess you could use an 8 inch pie plate instead. I found that to get 4 cups of cooked zucchini I had to start with 6 cups raw. I divided the zuke into wedges, then sliced each wedge crosswise.
Start with the prescribed amount of lemon and cinnamon. You might want a little more lemon flavor; an eighth of a teaspoon of nutmeg is fine – that’s about 20 scrapes from top to bottom of a whole nutmeg on a grater. Add more cinnamon if you like it spicy. The cream of tartar is there for the acidity.
Marjorie also noted that the filling is runny when you put it in the pastry-lined pie plate, but don’t worry. So I didn’t.
Does it taste like apple pie? Sure, pretty close. Niece Sarah and her sweet tooth loved it. Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Apple zucchini pie
Makes a 9 inch pie.
6 cups sliced raw zucchini, cut about ¼ inch thick
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 tsp salt
1¼ cup sugar
1½ teaspoons cream of tartar
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons of flour
Sufficient dough for two crusts
Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Steam zucchini until tender-crisp; put in a bowl with lemon juice and salt.
In another bowl, combine the sugar, cream of tartar, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour.
Add sugar mixture to zucchini and stir to combine.
Line your pie pan with one of the crusts, add the filling and cover with the second crust.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Cool and serve.