This Deceptive Apple Pie Recipe Contains No Apples

Recently, I saw people on TikTok making a vintage apple pie recipe that contains no apples. It uses all of the components of an apple pie, but there is a special ingredient that stands in for apples to give the pie a similar texture. After trying the recipe, people say it tastes just like apple pie!

Growing up, I remember knowing of a mock apple pie recipe that contained no apples, but can’t recall anyone I know actually making the pie. So, why am I so familiar with this strange vintage recipe I’ve never even eaten? I recently discovered that the mock apple pie recipe is actually a recipe from the Ritz Cracker brand, and was often printed on the back of the box. The recipe calls for broken Ritz Crackers in place of apples and I was intrigued. How can they possibly taste like apples?

Ritz Crackers have been around since 1934. The recipe for “Mock Apple Pie” started appearing on the Ritz Cracker boxes shortly after their debut. Apples were a scarce ingredient during the Depression, and the crackers were a good substitute for apples, according to a spokesperson for Ritz Crackers. After reading the recipe, which uses sugar, butter, and cinnamon, I thought it might be easy to disguise the crackers in something that looks and smells as familiar as apple pie.

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this deceptive apple pie recipe contains no apples secret ingredient ritz crackers
Bridget Coolick / Instagram @thecooleats

The Mock Apple Pie recipe last appeared on the Ritz Crackers box in 1993, but the recipe has recently made a comeback thanks to a TikToker who recreates old recipes. You can read more about the vintage recipes he made and liked in our post about him here.

After seeing this recipe again on TikTok, I knew I had to try it out for myself. I mean, if a recipe has been around for that long and people keep making it, there must be something to it. So I created a list of all of the ingredients, went shopping, and made my own apple-less apple pie. And I had the perfect person to taste test with me: my apple pie-loving husband. Below are the recipe ingredients and steps. Keep reading to see if we liked the mock apple pie and get the recipe!

Making the Mock Apple Pie Recipe

One night, I gathered all of the ingredients and made the pie. Since I have a newborn baby at home, I decided that I would make things easy on myself and buy a ready-made pie crust. It cut down on the recipe time and didn’t affect the final product whatsoever. 

this deceptive apple pie recipe contains no apples ingredients
Bridget Coolick / Instagram @thecooleats

The recipe is very easy to follow and it’s best to prepare all of the ingredients before you start. To get prepped, I coarsely broke up some Ritz Crackers with a potato masher. I cut up butter into small pieces and juiced and zested the lemon. Next, I measured out the water, sugar, cream of tartar, and cinnamon. Then I simply assembled and baked the pie on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

After letting the pie cool, we went in for a taste. When cutting into the pie, it looked and felt like a genuine apple pie. And the house smelled delicious! After taking a bite or two, I gave the fork to my husband and he tried it. He said, “Wow, that’s really good and tastes just like apple pie.” Throughout the week, he ate a slice after dinner until the whole pie was gone. It was a hit!

this deceptive apple pie recipe contains no apples ingredients
Bridget Coolick / Instagram @thecooleats

The recipe is actually perfect for a quick and easy dessert, or something to bring to your next social gathering. Don’t tell your family and friends that the pie contains no apples, and see if anyone notices! Below is the recipe so you can try it for yourself!

Mock Apple Pie Recipe Ingredients:

this deceptive apple pie recipe contains no apples ritz crackers
Bridget Coolick / Instagram @thecooleats
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 ¾ cup water
  • Pie pastry crusts (9-inch pie, top and bottom crust)
  • 36 Ritz crackers, coarsely broken (makes about 1 ¾ cups)
  • Zest from one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine cut into small pieces
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Mock Apple Pie Recipe Instructions:

this deceptive apple pie recipe contains no apples
Bridget Coolick / Instagram @thecooleats

In a medium saucepan, mix sugar and cream of tartar. I love this saucepan with a lid from Cuisinart because it’s the perfect size, lasts forever, and is a great price. Slowly stir in the water then bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn down to low heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and zest, and remove from heat. Cool for 30 minutes.

this deceptive apple pie recipe contains no apples
Bridget Coolick / Instagram @thecooleats

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. If not using ready-made crust, take half of your dough and roll out an 11-inch circle. Place your rolled-out pastry dough in a 9-inch pie plate (I love this pie plate on Amazon from Pyrex) to create the bottom crust. Place Ritz crackers on top of the crust. Pour the cooled-down melted sugar mixture over the crackers. Then top with cinnamon. Place the small pieces of butter around the pie evenly.

this deceptive apple pie recipe contains no apples
Bridget Coolick / Instagram @thecooleats

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Roll out the remaining pastry to a 10n inch circle, or using a ready-made circle, place over the pie to cover. Seal the crusts together and press the edges. With a sharp knife, create a few slits in the crust to allow steam to escape. Place the pie on a lined baking sheet and place it in the oven for 30-35 minutes. The crust should be golden brown when done. Let cool before serving.

this deceptive apple pie recipe contains no apples
Bridget Coolick / Instagram @thecooleats

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