How to Turn All of Those Giant Zucchinis Into Apple Pie
It’s harvest season! And if you’re like most gardeners, I’m sure that you are so sick of zucchini at this point that you’ve just stopped picking them and they’ve gotten huge in your garden. Don’t let them rot! Tanya Kelley calls them the most versatile fruit in her garden because they are so bland that you can season them in any way and easily trick anyone into thinking you are feeding them lemon pie filling, apple pie filling, or even pineapple, like I wrote about in my post 6 Food Preservation Recipes for Garden Failures
After discovering that zucchini pineapple trick, I thought I would never use zucchini for anything ever again. Well I was wrong, because I stumbled on this recipe and just had to try it. What if I told you that you could turn zucchini into apple pie without much trouble at all? Well you can and here’s how to do it:
I didn’t make up this recipe, I adapted it from a version I found on self-reliance.com awhile back. Other recipes I have seen use lemon juice to acidify the zucchini, but that is pretty expensive so I stick with this one, which relies on apple cider vinegar. If you do try it with lemon juice, though, let me know how it works, I’m kind of curious. The apple cider vinegar does make it a bit, well, vinegar-y, but I actually enjoy the taste as it isn’t overly sweet like most pie.
Zucchini Apple Pie Filling
12-15 lbs. giant zucchinis, peeled, cored and sliced
5 cups sugar (I think I used more like 3 cups because I don’t like it to be as sweet)
4 tsp. salt
4 TBS cinnamon
2 tsp. whole or ground cloves
4 cups commercial apple cider vinegar
8 cups water
Peel zucchinis, quarter and remove seeds and pulp. Chop into apple slice sized chunks. Combine all ingredients in a large pot and boil until zucchini is soft like a partially cooked apple, but not mushy like applesauce, about half an hour. Ladle into sterilized quart jars and *water bath can for 15 minutes. Makes about 8 quarts. One quart makes one pie, you may choose to pour the liquid off first and/or add more sugar when making your pie or crisp.
*The government no longer recommends canning zucchini, do so at your own risk.
That’s all there is to it! Easy peasy right? Let me know in the comments below if you have some sneaky way to use up zucchini- I’m always looking for more!
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