When I was a kid, I remember my mom experimenting in the kitchen a lot.
She wasn’t your typical Italian mom back in the day. She didn’t only make recipes her own mom taught her, but she was forever rifling through magazines to discover what the newest “Canadian” food was!
I would often come home from school to see a tray of chocolate chip cookies (instead of Italian biscuits) and a pot of Chinese fried rice (instead of a pot of sugo…although she made that every Sunday).
She definitely was trying to embrace the North American lifestyle and wanted us all to be proudly Canadian. And it was her attempts at cooking/baking outside of her Italian box that helped us do that.
For example, she made the chocolate sauerkraut cake that was popular in the 70’s (it was delicious and this has now reminded me to get that one up on the blog too!!). She was all about the ‘experiment’ – probably has something to do with my crazy curiosity with all things baking!
So, fast forward to today.
I’ve been wanting to get this up on the blog, like, FOREVER! It’s the mock apple pie (made without apples!) that tastes oddly like real apple pie and made famous by the people over at Ritz…or was it?
After some digging, this is what I found…
I dug up some information about this popular pie at www.culinarylore.com. “We are told that Nabisco invented “Mock Apple Pie” around the time of the great depression so that people could have apple pie in a time when apples were scarce. There was even a big drought during the 1930’s, making apples even harder to come by. The recipe for Nabisco’s mock apple pie used Ritz crackers, lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon.
It wasn’t until the Second World War that the company began printing the Ritz mock apple pie recipe on their packages. Cookbooks had been printing mock apple pie recipes long before then.
The fact is that Ritz mock apple pie is derived from earlier recipes for mock apple pie, dating back to the 19th century, that used soda crackers or saltines in place of apples. Mock mince pies were made with similar ingredients: crackers, sugar, and spices.”
So if there aren’t apples, what the heck is in here?
- pie crust (homemade or store bought)
- Ritz Crackers
- and stuff that you probably have in your pantry and fridge (sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, butter)
You guys need to try this and let me know what you think!!
Mock Ritz Apple Pie
- 2 cup water
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tsp. cream of tartar
- 35 Ritz Crackers (you’ll need about 1 whole box, divided)
- 1 pie crust store bought or homemade
- 1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 cup crushed Ritz Crackers about 25 crackers (or what is left in your box after you make the filling
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter melted
- Heat oven to 400ºF.In large saucepan, mix water, sugar and cream of tartar and bring to boil on medium-high heat. Add crackers; simmer on medium-low heat (for about 5 minutes), moving around but not stirring in order to keep the shape of the cracker.
- Line 9-inch pie plate with the crust (chill if it is warm); gently fill with cracker mixture.
- Sprinkle with lemon juice and cinnamon.In a medium sized bowl, combine all topping ingredients (if you are using a food processor, crush the remaining crackers – which will give you about 1 cup of Ritz crumbs – and then add the sugar, cinnamon and butter and pulse until it comes together).
- Bake 10 minutes at 400, reduce to 350 (cover edges of pie crust with foil if you find it’s getting too brown).
- Bake 18-20 more minutes, or until pie filling has set. It shouldn’t jiggle a lot when moved.
- Cool before serving.