A few weeks ago, Soma introduced me to the most amazing food in the world: mock apple pie. I was skeptical, for sure, but I promise it's really, really good, and you should make one.
First though, what exactly is a "mock apple pie?" It's a weird and wonderful concoction of Ritz Crackers that manages to taste appley without any apples at all! Amazing!
And why would you bother making it?
* Maybe you're craving the sugar-cinnamony warmth of apple pie, but you can't bear to venture into the cold to grab some less than appealing Granny Smiths from your grocery store.
* Maybe you just hate fruit and really need to carboload.
* Maybe you just don't want to spend a million hours peeling and coring the 5 lbs. of apples required for a pie.
* Maybe you just want to trick your friends. (This is the best reason, of course.)
Now that you're convinced it's a pretty cool thing, you're probably wondering how you go about making such a wonderful treat, and where it came from in the first place. Onwards!
One of the best things about this pie is what a huge timesaver it is. I haven't made a real apple pie in ages, mostly because I hate the amount of prep that goes into it, peeling and peeling only to see your giant pile of apples shrink down in the oven. You know what? This totally doesn't happen with mock apple pie.
For the crust, feel free to purchase one from the freezer section, since we're all about saving time here.
But really, the filling is where the magic happens.
I'll leave the exact instructions to this recipe, but the key to making Ritz crackers seem like apples is all this weird syrup you pour over the crackers: water, sugar, lots of lemon juice, and cream of tartar. It soaks into the crushed crackers while you're baking, and if you close your eyes, you can convince anyone it's apple pie filling (most likely).
And where did this amazing thing come from?
The cynic in me just assumed mock apple pie was dreamed up by Kraft in order to sell more Ritz Crackers, but no, it appears to have actual historic origins. As far as the internet can tell me, pioneers traveling west, Oregon Trail style, desired something sweet and delicious but were lacking apples and turned to good old soda crackers to satisfy their cravings.
My favorite part of all of this is that the Kraft recipe page encourages you "Enjoy this mock apple pie treat but be mindful of the serving size." On that note, bon apetit!