For a history of this ingenious ersatz apple pie, see Putting on the Ritz.
Mock Apple Pie
This classic American recipe uses a bit of cracker trickery.
Yield: serves 8
- 1 3⁄4 cups flour, plus more as needed
- 1 tbsp. plus 2 cups sugar
- 1 tsp. fine salt
- 12 tbsp. plus 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
- 2 tsp. cream of tartar
- 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. lemon zest
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 cups coarsely broken Ritz, saltine, or soda crackers (about 36 crackers)
- 1 egg, beaten
- Combine flour, 1 tbsp. sugar, and salt in a food processor; pulse to combine. Add 12 tbsp. butter; pulse until pea-size pieces have formed. Drizzle in 3–4 tbsp. ice water; continue pulsing until dough just comes together. Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead briefly into a ball. Divide dough in half, form into 2 disks, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Put remaining sugar, cream of tartar, and 1 3⁄4 cups water into a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat; add lemon juice, lemon zest, and cinnamon. Let syrup cool to room temperature.
- Heat oven to 400°. On a floured surface, roll 1 dough disk into a 12″ circle, transfer to a 9″ pie pan, fill with crackers, and pour syrup over top. Dot mixture with remaining butter. Roll out remaining dough into an 11″ circle and place on top of pie; trim dough, leaving a 1⁄2″ overhang. Fold edges up over rim; press to seal. Decorate edge of the pie dough with the tines of a fork. Cut 6 slits in the top of the pie, brush with the egg, and bake until crust is golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let pie cool completely before slicing.