By Julie Rothman, Special to The Baltimore Sun
2:42 PM EDT, June 26, 2012
Bonita Burbank from Redmond, Ore., was looking for a recipe for what she called mock apple pie. She said this was a popular recipe back in the 1970s and that it was made with Ritz crackers in place of apples.
Many readers sent in the recipe for a two-crust pastry version of a mock apple pie that appeared on the box of Ritz crackers back in the day. (In fact, several readers sent me the recipe cut from the side of the Ritz box.) I also received several recipe versions from the Internet.
Since that seemed so easy to find, I decided to test a slightly more unusual recipe for faux apple pie that was sent in by Dovey Kahn of Baltimore for a dish called apple pie mirage. She said it came from a cookbook called "Thoughts for Buffet" and that she tried it many years ago and it really did taste like an apple pie. I have a copy of the book, published in 1958, that belonged to my mother, and sure enough, there in the menu for the Football Buffet Supper (along with an eggnog pretzel pie) is the recipe for apple pie mirage. This old book is full of period recipe and entertaining tips, many of which are quite elegant but clearly from another era.
It's surprisingly good and, amazingly, tastes like real apple pie. Plus, it's simple to make, thanks to the fact that it has no pastry crust or apples to prepare, and the house smells great while it cooks. As it says at the end of the recipe, "believe it or not, this is Apple Pie — no apples, no errors." Serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and I'll bet you'll have just about everyone fooled.
Debbbie Housden from Baltimore is looking for two recipes that she thinks may have been in The Baltimore Sun 10 or 20 years ago. The first is for an apple crisp that was made with apple pie filling instead of fresh apples, along with cornflakes and cinnamon. The second recipe is for chicken divan. The chicken and broccoli were covered with a mixture that included mayonnaise and cream of chicken soup, but she can't remember anything else.
If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request, write to Julie Rothman, Recipe Finder, and The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you send in more than one recipe, please put each on a separate piece of paper and be sure to include your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Name and hometown must accompany recipes in order to be published. Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letter and recipes may be edited for clarity.
Apple pie mirage
Makes: 6-8 servings
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons cream of tartar
22 Ritz crackers, whole
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
For streusel topping:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar (white or brown)
1/4 cups butter, softened
Boil water, sugar, and cream of tartar together for 5 minutes. Add crackers, but do not stir. Boil gently for 2 minutes. Add nutmeg and cinnamon, and stir. Cool; pour into a greased 9-inch pie pan. Combine ingredients for the streusel until they are the consistency of cornmeal, top the pie, and bake for 30 minutes in a 350-degree oven.
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