A Sweet Zucchini Surprise

I’ve already written about the fact that our zucchini crop has come on fast and furious, so the fact that I’m throwing out yet another zucchini recipe shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.  The fact that this one is a zucchini dessert, however, may be the part that comes as a bit of a shock.  Hang with me, trust me a little, and you won’t be sorry.  I promise!

Let’s backtrack for a moment…

Last summer, while browsing Facebook, I noticed the status of my cousin Michelle.  She had posted that she was making a zucchini cobbler.  Zucchini cobbler? I thought…hmmmm….that might be good.  I had a lot of zucchini to use up and I had started running out of the desire to mix up another batch of zucchini muffins or bread, so I hopped online, did a google search for zucchini cobbler, and ended up with a surprising number of hits.  I read through several recipes and finally settled on one.  The result was a deliciously unexpected dessert that I had fully intended to use year after year on one of those days when I had zucchini to use up and I’d tried everything else.

Until now…

Now I will be making Sweet Zucchini Crumble.  Sorry zucchini cobbler, you were my starting point, but you’ve been replaced by the Crumble.

The Crumble recipe is not my own…I got it from one of my FAVORITE veggie cookbooks…I will, however, say that this recipe has my creativity going like crazy and I AM in the process of creating what I believe will be a new and delicious take on zucchini for dessert…stay tuned!

My go to cookbook when I'm not sure how in the world to prepare a veggie -- one of the best cookbooks out there!

This recipe says it serves 6-8 and you make it in a 9x13baking dish.  I cut the recipe in half and baked it in an 8×8 baking dish and I think that would serve 6-8 after a good dinner. If you just want to experiment with the recipe, cut the measurements in half and use the 8×8.  If you’re feeling confident and have several mouths to feed (or just a few super hungry mouths), go ahead and use the measurements as they’re listed and the 9×13.

The Ingredients

4 1/2 c. flour

3 c. sugar, divided

1/2 t. salt

1 1/2 c. shortening, softened, or butter, cold (I used butter…everything’s better with butter, right?!)

6-8 c. thinly sliced zucchini (I sliced mine on my mandoline slicer at 1/8 inch.)

2/3 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons — use the REAL thing here…don’t use bottled juice…it’s NOT the same!)

1 t. ground cinnamon — remember — use the good stuff (Saigon cinnamon is the best)

1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg — (please buy whole nutmeg and a microplane grater and grate your own)

Whole nutmeg and a microplane....far superior to ground nutmeg from a spice jar

The Method

1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Stir the flour, 2 cups of the sugar, and salt in a large bowl until well combined.  Add the shortening or butter and cut it into the flour with a pastry blender or your fingertips until the mixture looks like a coarse oatmeal.

Ready for the pastry blender...I started with the blender and then used my hands to finish the crumble crust/topping

3. Pour half of the mixture into a 9×13-inch baking pan.  Using your fingers or a rubber spatula, press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside to cool a bit.

The bottom crust

4. Combine the zucchini and lemon juice in a large pan (I used my largest skillet) over high heat and cook until zucchini is tender, 8-10 minutes.  Stir in the remaining 1 cup of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Simmer for 1 minute more.  Stir in 1/2 cup of the remaining flour mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.  Remove the pan from the heat and cool for 10 minutes.

The filling...you won't believe the magical smell of this while it's cooking!

5. Pour the zucchini mixture over the baked crust and sprinkle with the remaining flour mixture.  Return the pan to the oven and bake until it is lightly browned and bubbly, 40-45 minutes.

Before its date with the oven...

The finished product...so surprisingly tasty and delicious

If you have an abundance of zucchini, try this.  If you’re curious about the concept of zucchini as a dessert food, try this.  Even if you’re bored and have nothing better to do…TRY this!  I’m pretty sure that this will land itself in your recipe arsenal!

As always, if you try it, let me know what you think!  If you love it, pass it along to someone you love.  The best part about food and cooking, after all,  is that it’s about sharing.

Have a wonderful Sunday!  Be sure to check in next week…I have more posts already lined up!


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