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Mock apple pie

The recipe itself has been in existence since the early 1800s when stale bread was used. Two things gave rise to this bake's popularity in the 1930s– the launch of Ritz crackers in 1934, and the sky-high prices of apples. The crackers were much more affordable than fresh fruit.  The pie can be made with either crushed crackers – which give a more pureed filling version, or whole crackers which mimic the look and texture of sliced apples more closely.



  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • Juice 1 lemon
  • 40 Ritz crackers, or equivalent
  • 2 portions ready-made pie crust
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into thin pats
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons water


  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F
  2. In a large pan, combine the sugar, water and cream of tartar over medium-high heat, and stir occasionally. When it reaches boiling, reduce the heat to medium and boil for 20 minutes. 
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and low to cool fully to room temperature
    In a separate bowl, roughly crush the Ritz crackers, leaving some larger pieces
  4. Fit your bottom layer of piece crust pastry into a nine-inch standard pan (not a deep pie pan) and evenly spread in the crushed crackers. Pour the cooled syrup over the crackers, and finish by evenly sprinkling over the ground cinnamon. Dot with the pats of butter. Place the top crust of pastry and trim any excess. Seal and crimp with a fork, cutting small slits into the top crust
  5. Make an egg wash by mixing the egg and water together. Brush over the top crust and edges of the pie
  6. Bake at the preheated temperature for 10 minutes, before reducing the temperature to 350°F for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown
  7. Remove from the oven and let the pie cool for at least two hours on a cooling rack where it will solidify before cutting to serve. Once the pie has fully cooled after this time you can refrigerate it. (Note: DO NOT refrigerate the pie whilst it is still warm – this will cause it to go soggy!) Enjoy! 

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