I don’t recall exactly where I came across this Mock Apple Pie recipe, but I do remember that at the exact moment I finished reading it I thought, “Oh yuck!”
Then I contemplated why anyone in the world would want to make something that sounded so vile and why anyone would try to pass a pie made out of nothing more than crust and Ritz Crackers off as an apple pie. And I thought, “No way!” and “People have some seriously messed up notions of apple pie if they can possibly believe Ritz Crackers = mom and apple pie…” But then I started reading the reviews. And to my surprise, review after review after review was pretty favorable.
All of a sudden then, I HAD to try it. Because, you know? Apple Pie! Without having to cut up all those apples!
So I went out to the store. I bought a refrigerated pie crust. Lazy cook’s way you say? Not good enough you say? Well, let me tell you something: If I’m tossing crackers into a pie plate with some sugar and water you can be damn sure I am NOT pulling out the bowls and the flour and the lard and the rolling pin to make a crust. So, refrigerator case crust it is.
I bought a big box of Ritz Crackers.
When I got home I discovered we were out of lemons. The lemon I had pictured in my mind while I was in the grocery store, actually, it was a half a lemon sitting in a baggie on the middle shelve of my fridge, well it was GONE! My husband had used it for something else: a cup of hot tea most likely. But the lemon, it was a key ingredient in the mock apple pie recipe!
So the pie had to wait a while – - while my husband went to the store to get a replacement lemon for me.
When he came back we were all set.
Snags was just as skeptical as I was, but he wasn’t about to let me play the role of The Little Red Hen all by myself because he wanted to be able to eat some of the pie. He helped unroll the pie crust and place it in the pie pan. Then he helped break up the Ritz Crackers and dump them onto the crust. He measured out the sugar and poured the water into the saucepan. He grated the lemon and helped me squeeze out the lemon juice. He watched as I poured the sugary syrup onto the crackers in the pie pan and he helped place the top crust and flute the edges with his thumb.
He went to bed, I watched the pie bake. I’m not sure bake is the right word, but the crackers had to soak up the syrup and the crust had to brown, so into the oven it all went.
In the morning we cut the pie.
The reviews from my kitchen were as follows:
My husband said: “The pie is good, but it’s nowhere near an apple pie. There’s no crunchy sweetness with juicy apple flavor.”
Snags said: “This is terribly NOT Ritz Cracker pie!” To which I asked, “Oh yeah, what is it then?” and he said “It’s LEMON pie!”
And I have to say, I think he’s right. The recipe called for two tablespoons of lemon, but I think one would probably have been fine. Or maybe none. Maybe I didn’t need to send my husband out to get that replacement lemon after all… I could try it over, skip the lemon juice, maybe replace it with apple juice. But I’m not so sure I’ll make it again. It’s not bad, mind you, not at all. But I’m pretty sure a pie full of crackers has a lot more calories and fat and sugar than a traditional apple pie. One that, you know, uses real apples.
At any rate, I had two pieces for my breakfast. But the second piece was only because after a teeny bite Snags proclaimed “I like it but I don’t want anymore. I don’t want to eat nothing but SUGAR for breakfast mom. I need something healthier than that.”
Fine then. There I was thinking I could be an all cool Bill Cosby-like mom, feeding my kid chocolate cake for breakfast, or in this case, Mock Apple Pie, but he didn’t want any part of that.
So what DID Snags want for breakfast? What was the HEALTHY alternative he craved in place of Ritz Cracker Mock Apple turned Lemon Pie? What did he want instead?
Pancakes with SPRINKLES and chocolate chips on them. Because of course, there’s no sugar in THAT.