Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Faux Pie or Mock Pie?

One of the more serious discussions of the Official Pie Commission Summit was whether or not to allow "Faux", (aka Mock, or "fake") pie in the Pie-Off. After 3 seconds of serious debate we concluded that faux pie is not only perfectly acceptable, it even deserves a Pie-Off category all its own.

What's Faux Pie?

Unlike its high-falutin' cousins the galette, the tart and other fancy pastry crusted delectables, Pie comes from humble origins. For our pie-baking forbearers, pie was a way to use what was available at hand during the seasons and stretch expensive ingredients like butter, sugar and flour so that several hungry people at one table could all enjoy a slice.

As the age of industrialization, and America's love affair with all things packaged and quick-Mix took hold, the "use what you have on hand" pie tradition continued. Sometimes with some funny, yet tasty, results.

Sure to piss off pie purists, slow foodies, and other gourmets, we here at the Pie-Off love the faux pie. We love it for its slice of cheesy Americana and what is sure to be in certain households and church potlucks, long standing tradition. Faux Pie, we salute you!

I present for your inspection, the most well known, and probably the oldest of the faux pie family, "The Mock Apple Pie." Although attributed to an inventive cook in the late 1800s, it was the Ritz cracker people in the 1930s who really figured out they had a good thing on their hands and began to market the pie out of it. Who doesn't remember growing up staring at the Ritz box and wondering, "can you really make an apple pie out of Ritz crackers?"

Here is the recipe in all it's crackery buttery (or margarine induced if you wish) glory.

Yet mock apple pie is but one of the many other faux pie offerings out there.
There are several versions of Mock Pecan Pie. This one made with oats, while another is made with high fiber pinto beans!
Pinto beans are also the main ingredient in Mock Pumpkin Pie

Of course there are quick and easy candy bar pies and other no-bake cheaters delights, featuring that favorite dessert of yore, Jello Pudding-Mix!

Got any faux pie recipes of your own? A favorite faux pie memory? Feel free to share it in the comments below. See you at the Pie-Off!

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