Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ritz Cracker Meringue Pie


"What's the name of this dessert?" the DH asked ten times last night.  "I don't know," I responded sweetly each time.  I wasn't being evasive -- this is a dessert with no name.  The recipe, written on a sheet of note paper "From the desk of Phyllis A. Roberts" is simply a list of six ingredients and two instructions.  But from this cryptic note, emerged a sweet and salty meringue pie.  And one that probably originated in the test kitchen of Ritz Crackers.

But, tasty as it is, this is an American derivative of the French classic dacquoise, a delicate meringue and hazelnut confection often baked in layers and  frosted with buttercream.  In addition to nuts, this recipe uses Ritz crackers, which lends a buttery and salty flavor note, not such a bad thing.

If you want to try your hand at "American" dacquoise, gather together the ingredients pictured below.


Crush the Ritz crackers and chop the nuts.  Whip the egg whites until they're almost stiff, adding the sugar and baking powder in gradually.  (You can skip the baking powder.) Fold in the nuts and crushed crackers.  Spoon into an eight- or nine-inch pie plate and bake.


When it's brown, remove and let cool slightly.


Even though heavy cream is listed, it should not be used in the pie (I tried it that way and it was a bit of a disaster).  Instead, whip the cream to serve on the side.



6 comments:

  1. I've always heard it called "Angel Pie."

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  2. I´ve heard of ritz pie before, and in the age of pretzels used in sweet desserts, this type of recipes are probably the ones that started the hype. It sounds amazing, love the idea Susan!

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  3. We called this "MYSTIC PIE" and my mom made it quite often. So yummy and no one would guess that it was made with Ritz crackers. So fun to see this recipe again. I will have to look and see if I don't have this in my mom's handwriting. You have given us all a new appreciation for these old family recipes.!!!

    Kev

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  4. I make a version of this called Millionaire Pie. The middle layer is cream cheese, vanilla & confectioner's sugar. The top layer is whippped cream and crushed pineapple. You can only eat a small slice since it's so rich! :-)

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  5. My Grandmother, Evelyn McCormick, made this pie during the1940s when she was a young housewife without a lot of money. Her mother had made it in the 20s 1930s and called it Mock Apple pie. It was made with soda crackers and sweetened lemon juice which was a common substitute for fruit in the days of the depression. Ritz crackers came out sometime in the thirties and took over as THE cracker to use in this recipe when it published a recipe for it on the box. I first tasted it when I was a little girl in the 70s when grandma told me she could make me an apple pie without apples. It was quite yummy and really did taste like an apple pie!

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