No apples were harmed in the baking of this pie.
Perhaps at some point in the distant past, it was possible for a person under the age of 50 to whip up a mock apple pie, hold the irony. Now in an age wherein slowstainable locaheirganic produce is de rigueur in many circles (not mine, but then again, I pour cherry soda all over unsuspecting hams and eat brains from a can) it seems almost viciously retrograde to dump lemony simple syrup on top of a pile of mushed-up crackers and pass it off as fruit.
So don't do that. Just enjoy it for its bizarrely satisfying damp cracker heft. Use, I dunno, heirloom leaf lard in the crust or send a tithe to Michael Pollan if you feel you need to, but really, this pie is in no need of apology.
Get the Ritz Mock Apple Pie recipe after the jump.
The recipe has been a de facto part of the red cracker box since shortly after it hit the market 75 years ago. It's a successor of the hardtack and soda cracker pies popularized in times when fresh fruit was scarce, expensive and not as easily refrigerated. Though anecdotal evidence suggests that some people have mistaken this for actual apple-laden apple pie -- it's popular April Fool's Day fare -- my rendition, at least, was a dead ringer for my Grandma Kinsman's go-to lemon pie. That, too, was lifted from the side of a dry goods box (Argo cornstarch, to be exact), so hey -- raise a fork to the undersung hired gun product recipe writers of days gone by and dig on in.
Ritz Mock Apple Pie
Pastry for 2-crust 9-inch pie*
36 RITZ Crackers, coarsely broken (about 1 3/4 cups crumbs)
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Grated peel of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Roll out half of the pastry and place in 9-inch pie plate. Place cracker crumbs in crust; set aside.
Mix sugar and cream of tartar in medium saucepan. Gradually stir in 1 3/4 cups water until well blended. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer 15 minutes. Add lemon peel and juice; cool. Pour syrup over cracker crumbs. Dot with butter; sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll out remaining pastry; place over pie. Trim; seal and flute edges. Slit top crust to allow steam to escape.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is crisp and golden. Cool completely.
Recipe via Kraftfoods.com
*The one pictured above is a hand-rolled lard/butter crust, but there's no need to get schmancy about it. I just had really bad insomnia.
Kat Kinsman is the Senior Editor of AOL Food
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