When you've been out of the kitchen and away for such a long time, it seems that cooking again can be daunting. During my travels I so much enjoyed having every delicious bite laid out for me, that the prospect of making anything myself seemed like a thing of the past. Now that I have returned home and settled in, I suddenly got the urge again, the desire to make something new and different. So I made something new and different, something I have never heard of before, Mock Apple Pie.
So, about the taste. When my mom tasted it she looked at me, slightly confused, and said, "wait, so what kind of apples did you use?" There is no doubt that this pie tastes like apples with a delicious hint of cinnamon. If you don't believe me, I suggest trying it out for yourself because although this is far from the best pie I have ever had, it is certainly interesting and exciting to see how easily you can fool yourself into believing your eating apples (even if you know they're not in there). That being said, next time I'll be making real apple pie, this was good, but more for the thrill than the flavor. I guess it seems that despite my desire to try new things and check out new places, in my kitchen I'm a traditionalist and so far (luckily) that hasn't let me astray.
Mock Apple Pie
1 3⁄4 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
1⁄2 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.