It’s been a ridiculously hectic month of May. With Hubs and I doing our fair share of over booking ourselves, there has been little time for new recipe creation… or cooking… or sleeping…well you get the idea. Times like these cause me to go into auto-pilot in an effort to just get through each day, I rely on past recipes rather than creating new ones.
I’ve been declining some fun offers lately. One of my friends, unwilling to wait until June to hang out started showing up at my workplace to convince me otherwise, then a second showed. Then the text messages started rolling in, then lots of frowny emoticons on Evite. Fine, I get the memo. All work and no play makes for a sad group of friends.
No need to bring anything to the potluck they assured me. I agreed and offered to bring wine. The day of the party I woke up with a nagging voice in my head. It was my mother’s.
“You aren’t actually going to show up to a potluck with nothing but wine, are you?”
So lucky for me, I had a good 3 pounds of zucchini in this weeks CSA basket. I pieced the following recipe together in about an hour, including a quick trip to the store. When we arrived to the party, late as promised, everyone else had finished eating and was ready for dessert. I don’t know if it was the empty bottles of wine they’d consumed or the fact that I just haven’t been out in a while, but, I don’t think I have ever made a recipe that was so well-received. Even the kids wolfed it down, assuming of course that it was apple.
“You must blog it!” they insisted, “we need the recipe!”
“You’ve really outdone yourself this time!”
“Zucchini? But, how did you make it taste like apple?”
“I’m sensing a new cooking demo class”, Hubs suggested, “maybe we can do it in the dutch oven over the campfire!”
Hands down, it was a huge hit. Before the last piece flew into people’s mouths we quickly took a photo- on a paper plate. It isn’t fancy, but sometimes the best things in life aren’t.
This recipe gives me renewed faith in the ability to create something wonderful from even the most chaotic times. It also makes me look forward to a long summer ahead of zucchini, potlucks with friends, and the “occasional” chance to get off auto-pilot.
3 lbs of peeled and seeded zucchini
4 C. AP Flour
3 sticks of butter, cold
1/2 C. Orange Juice
3 C. Sugar, divided
2 tsp. Cinnamon, divided
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1 tsp. Salt
Sea Salt Caramel Sauce (Trader Joe’s), optional
French Vanilla Ice Cream, optional
Grease an 11×9 baking dish. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel, seed and slice zucchini into half-moon shapes, so they resemble apples. In a large saucepan cook down zucchini, orange juice and salt for about 20 minutes. Drain excess liquid. Mix in 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1 tsp cinnamon and stir to combine. Set aside.
Cube the cold butter into small pieces and combine with 4 C. flour and 2 C. sugar. Combine until mixture resemble crumbs.
Combine half of the crumb mixture with the zucchini mixture and press into the bottom of the baking dish. Top with remaining half of crumb mixture and sprinkle 1 tsp cinnamon on the top.
Bake 35-40 minutes or until light brown and bubbly.
This dessert holds its own, but is extra decadent with the optional addition of ice cream and caramel sauce.