It’s not Apple Pie: It’s Zapple Pie.
Yes, my friends. It’s time to talk about mock apple pie, made from zucchini and a few other ingredients that aid the trickery. Unless you actually make one yourself, you will probably not believe me when I say how good it is. But I and my taste-testers will tell you: it is really, really, really good. This Crumb-Topped Zapple Pie recipe can be found in Ken Haedrich’s book Pie, like most of the others discussed on this blog.
I made two of these back-to-back in late August/early September when mi querida amiga Linda gave me six zucchini from her prolific garden, two of which were actual giants. I’m a person that likes zucchini a lot of ways, but after making that first pie, it was like, oh, clearly this is 100% the best way to use zucchini. Let’s not mess around with zucchini bread and other such distractions anymore.
What does it take to make a Zapple Pie? Take a look.
Because this pie is so unusual, so delectable, and made with such a common ingredient, I feel it will be well worth our collective time to go into the process in a more step-by-step fashion than I typically would. Sound good? Sounds good.
Peel the zucchini and cut into thin, but not paper-thin, pieces (Cut rounds, then quarter them if a large zucchini, or in half for a medium zucchini.) You’ll start with six cups of raw zuke pieces.
Not previously pictured, but here is another key secret ingredient. Little bit of apple juice concentrate + Little bit of apple cider vinegar goes a long way in making zucchinis taste like apples, as it turns out.
Sugar, spices, and appley things simmer with the zucchini in a stockpot prior to baking. A cornstarch and lemon juice mixture is added towards the end to thicken and brighten up the mixture.
Like most of Ken’s crumb-topped pies, this pie is baked for half an hour with nothing on top, and the crumbs are added about halfway through the total baking time. Personally, one of my favorite aspects of this pie is the use of pecans in the crumb topping. This truly elevates the flavor and texture of the entire pie, in my opinion. Genius move.
In checking for doneness, you’ll see thick juicy bubbles around the edge of the pie when it’s done, just like you would expect of any classic fruit pie.
I was happy to be able to share these pies with Linda (the zucchini-giver) and her family and Levi’s grandparents and aunt. We’ve also been having backyard church some Sunday nights with a handful of friends, a real joy. Distanced and all that, you know the drill (Pippa and her cousin “baby Luke” don’t distance, because a. They stink at it and b. We are in each others’ bubbles.) But boy oh boy, it is GOOD to sit eight feet apart from physical people and physically drink the wine and eat the bread together.
And sometimes, afterwards, physically eat mystery pie together.
Pippa: “Whhaaaaat’s in it?” She loves being in on trickery.
Bonus completely irrelevant photo that no one will be mad about: Pippa and her beloved babies. I hope she never stops calling anyone that is even slightly younger than her “baby ___________”.
Left to right: Baby Pippa, Baby Margaret, Baby Dolly, Baby Lucy, Baby Lydia. #babysquad
Will you try making a Zapple Pie? Don’t forget to let me know. I very badly want to hear your reaction and whether you found it as entirely delightful as I did. ❤