Mock Apple Pie (aka: Cracker Pie)
Greetings from Texas! I’m Kat from Yellow Rose Designs. I consider myself a multi-preneur, having started no less than 3 businesses during the past couple of years. I make handmade jewelry and crafts, create designs for products from t-shirts to binders and stationery (with the help of an amazing artist who does custom designs for me), and have recently re-launched my web design business building WordPress and blog themes and custom Facebook tabs.
I’m so excited to have the opportunity to share another great passion of mine. Cooking. While there are several versions of this recipe around now, this one was handed down to me by my Grandmother. I’ve modified it a bit to make my own semi-homemade version using pre-made roll out pie crusts. It’s still a family favorite at holiday time. The story goes that when our family first moved to Texas, they were really missing the apple pie they’d had “back East”. (This would have been around 1844 or earlier, before Texas was a state.) So they came up with a recipe using what they had – Soda Crackers and cinnamon. It’s been a family tradition to have this pie for Thanksgiving and Christmas in our family all these years, so I’m glad to be the one baking it for the family now.
Here’s the recipe as it was handed down to me by my Grandma. Soda Crackers = Saltine Crackers. And a hint – DO NOT use low sodium crackers in this recipe. Notice how it doesn’t call for additional salt? There’s another, similar recipe using Ritz crackers, but IMO, this one is the better recipe. Then again, our family has spent generations perfecting it. They should know.
1 1/2 Cups Water
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
18-20 Saltine Crackers, broken in large pieces
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Stick (4 Tablespoons) Stick Butter or Margarine (I prefer Land O Lakes brand)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 Uncooked Pillsbury Roll-Out Pie Crusts (1 package) or any 9″ Roll-out pie crusts
Extra butter, cinnamon and sugar to sprinkle on top of the pie as desired
Deep 9″ Pie Pan
Medium sized saucepan
Open the packages of pie crust and let them warm to room temperature before taking them out of the package.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
Roll out 1 pie crust into 9″ pie pan. Set aside.
Break Saltine crackers into large pieces.
Mix water, sugar and cream of tartar in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil.
Add broken saltine crackers. Reduce heat to simmer.
Add remaining ingredients (cinnamon, butter, lemon juice).
Simmer 2-3 minutes until butter is melted. Stir gently not to break up the soft pieces of cracker too much. It should look similar to this:
Pour mixture into uncooked pie shell.
Cover with 2nd pie crust. I lay it on one side of the pan still rolled up and roll it out across the top.
Vent (poke with a fork); and seal edges (fork tines make a great fluted seal).
Trim excess crust around pie pan after sealing the edges.
If desired, brush with a little melted butter, sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over top.
Bake at 350 degrees (F) for 30 minutes.
Allow to cool.
Tips for making a great Cracker Pie and have a little fun. Do not use low sodium crackers or unsalted butter. It’s better to use stick butter in the recipe, but melted tub butter or margarine works fine to brush over the top of the pie. Roll out pie crusts are much easier to use at room temperature, so be sure to get these out early and cut the ends of the plastic off to let them warm up inside their packaging. There are no good substitutions for the recipe (I’ve tried several) other than using a cinnamon/nutmeg mix for the cinnamon and to sprinkle on top. Do not leave ingredients out or it won’t have the right flavor. I use a nice, deep 9 inch pie pan for this pie. When cutting the extra crust around the edge, I like to use a small paring knife and cut in one direction with a single smooth cut. The crust will shrink during baking, so lean the knife out a little as you cut. If you need metric measurement conversions, Food Network has a great conversion chart: http://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/metric-conversions/index.html.
To have a little fun if your family or co-workers have never had Mock Apple Pie, don’t tell them the main ingredient of the pie, but have them guess. (I do let people know it isn’t gluten free in case someone has allergies.) Most will guess apple right away, but it’s fun hearing what you could have substituted for the “apples” when you tell them that isn’t it. I’ve heard pear, peach, even pineapple but no one ever guesses Crackers!