Sunday, August 7, 2011

Book club baking - Apple Zucchini Slice and Apple Rhubarb Pie

Book club baking Part 1 covered chocolate beetroot brownies and chocolate marshmallow truffles.

In this post, we welcome apples. And more vegetables. And still get dessert.

Apple Zucchini Slice

The combination of apple and zucchini has captured my imagination since I made these muffins earlier this year.

This slice might overtake the muffins as a favourite.

I adapted this Taste of Home recipe for Apple Zucchini loaf, and, as with the chocolate-beetroot brownies, was amazed at how moist the result was. Baking with vegetables really does have advantages.

This isn't the most attractive product in cake / loaf form, which is why I sliced it for serving. But you could leave it whole and drizzle it with icing.

Adapted from Taste of Home
Makes ~16 slices

Print recipe

  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 1 400g tin of canned apples, no added sugar (or ~1 cup stewed apples)
  • 1 tbsp apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used soy)
  • Egg replacer to the equivalent of 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 - 1 cup sugar, to taste (depending on whether you want this to be neutral or sweet: I used 1 cup, given I was baking for diverse tastes and it was meant to be dessert)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
    • ~2 tbsp brown sugar, extra for topping
    • ~1 tsp cinnamon, extra for topping

    1. Pre-heat oven to 180'C and spray a loaf tin with non-stick spray.

    2. Grate the zucchini in a food processor or by hand and set aside.

    3. Mix the dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, salt).

    4. Prepare your egg replacer and combine with the apple sauce and soy milk. Add to the dry ingredient mix. Stir to combine (the batter will seem too dry at this point).

    5. Add the canned apple and zucchini. Mix through well, until all ingredients are combined.

    6. Pour batter into the loaf tin and sprinkle the extra brown sugar and cinnamon over the top.

    7. Bake for 45 - 55 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

    So. Incredibly. Moist.

    The edge of the cake is cakey, whilst the inside is all apple. No evidence of zucchini.

    I will be making these again!

    Apple Rhubarb Pie

    Prior to this, I had never made pie before, even using a store-bought crust. Why? I guess it always seemed complicated, and pie has never been my favourite dessert.

    It still isn't my favourite dessert, but after discovering how easy this was to make, I think it will be made again. It looks much harder than it is!

    I made the dough in advance, and if you do this, the rolling and filling of the pie takes only 20 minutes or so before going in to the oven. Simple.

    Filling adapted from She Knows Rhubarb Strawberry Pie, featured in a post on vegetable desserts
    Serves 8 - 10

    Print recipe

    Dough ingredients:
    • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1 cup cold dairy-free margarine (I used Nuttelex), chopped into chunks
    • 1/4 - 1/2 cup cold water 

    Dough instructions:

    1. Pulse flour, salt, sugar and margarine in a food processor until well blended and the mixture resembles a coarse meal. 

    2. With the food processor running, add water gradually, until the mixture forms a soft dough.

    3. Divide dough into two balls and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or until ready to use.

    Filling ingredients:
    • 3 stalks rhubarb, sliced
    • 3 granny smith apples, peeled and sliced
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 3 tbsp cornflour
    • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp allspice
    • 1 tbsp apple sauce

    1. Pre-heat oven to 180'C.

    2. On a floured surface, roll out one half of the dough mix until it's just larger than your pie dish (I don't have a dedicated pie tin so used a suitably sized round casserole dish, lined with baking paper).

    Drape the dough into your pie dish, allowing some to overhang the edges.

    3. Mix the filling ingredients together in a saucepan. Stir over very low heat until the ingredients are well combined and the fruit starts to produce juice (~5 minutes).

    4. Pour the filling mix into the pie dish.

    5. On a floured surface, roll out the other half of the dough. Slice into 6 strips with a sharp knife.

    6. Weave the dough strips across the top of the pie. By using fairly thick strips, you don't have to worry about the pastry breaking.

    7. When the strips are in place, roll the edge of the pie crust inwards and pinch into place. Trim any excess dough if necessary.

    8. Cover pie with foil and bake for 30 minutes, and then remove foil and bake for a further 15 - 25 minutes, until the crust is crisp and golden and the filling is starting to bubble.

    This was well received, and is a nice example of something that is (virtually) naturally vegan. Swapping dairy free margarine for butter is all that's required.

    Do you have a favourite pie recipe? Or, like me, are you more of a cake person?


    1. I'm actually sad there were no flecks of green from the zucchini, but I'm also super-inspired to make this cake... yum!

      My mom was *not* a baker, so we grew up in a pie-free house. I mostly find that I like the filling and that's it, so... why not just eat stewed fruit? If I want a baked good, cake is better, and macarons are next to godliness...

      you really did shoot out the lights for book club, didn't you? :D Love it!

    2. That pie is so pretty but I know I am so much more likely to bake the cake - pastry is just not my thing

    3.'s all good. Actually, just thinking maybe I'm more pie. More fruity stuff can go in. I love having pastry already done, makes it all super easy.
      Looks mighty fine Kari!

    4. Oh wow, so Nuttelex works in pastry? I've always been scared to try, assuming it wouldn't be cold/solid enough! Love the look of the cake-fingers too :)

    5. Apple zucchini slice sounds terrific, another way for me to sneak vegies in without the kids noticing!

    6. @Stephanie @
      That's pretty much my stance on pie actually...the filling is the best bit. My Mum often made crumble type things that just had crumble on the top of the fruit, so maybe that's where I got it from.

    7. @Johanna GGG
      That's what I thought, too, until this occasion!

    8. @cityhippyfarmgirl
      I'm glad there's someone in the pie camp, given the slight lean towards cakes :) I now agree that the advance preparation possibility for pies makes them much simpler for pre-planning.

    9. @Hannah
      You know, it never occurred to me that it *wouldn't* work! Sometimes I think I'm lucky I don't end up with more kitchen disasters. I did use the original / full fat one though. I don't know how light or olive oil would go...

    10. That slice looks seriously good - I wonder if you could sub a gluten free flour in and you would get the same results? I'm not vegan, so I'd do a normal egg :)

    11. @Liz@LastChanceTraining
      I absolutely think you could. Especially if you weren't also fiddling around with egg replacement!


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