Mock Apple Pie
Crackers, tossed with a lemony apple pie-spiced syrup take on a remarkable cooked apples-like texture in this recipe, perhaps a forebear of modern molecular gastronomy. André Baranowski

For a history of this ingenious ersatz apple pie, see Putting on the Ritz.

Yield: serves 8


  • 1 34 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
  • 12 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups coarsely broken Ritz, saltine, or soda crackers (about 36 crackers)
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.