Vegan Mock Apple Crisp (Great Depression Recipe)

I’ve been wanting to make the mock apple pie ever since I saw it on Food: Fact or Fiction in the Great Depression episode. I love crackers, I love apple pie, what’s there not to like? Unfortunately, I hate making pie dough, and the store didn’t have any, so I decided to make a mock apple crisp, since we’re more of a crisp household than a pie household anyway.

This recipe makes one large, thin mock apple crisp. Feel free to use a smaller baking receptacle for a thicker layer of mock apple filling.

Ingredients for filling:

2 cups water

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 sleeve Ritz crackers (or 30 crackers similar to Ritz)

Ingredients for crumble:

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup quick oats

1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup non-dairy butter (I used Country Crock Plant Butter made with Olive Oil)


  1. Preheat oven to 400*F
  2. Add all of the filling ingredients to a large pot, except for the crackers, and bring to a boil
  3. Mix every minute or so, so the sugar doesn’t stick to the pot
  4. When the liquid is boiling, add all the crackers whole, give it a mix to coat the crackers, and turn the heat all the way down to low
  5. Simmer for five minutes, untouched
  6. After the mixture has simmered, pour the filling into a greased baking dish
  7. Add all of the crumble ingredients to a large bowl, and with your hand/s, squish all of the ingredients together until it’s all crumbly (every ingredient should be coated with butter, no loose flour)
  8. Take a handful of crumble at a time, and distribute over the filling evenly, until you’ve used all the crumble
  9. Bake for fifteen minutes at 400*F, then turn the oven off, but leave the crisp in the oven for another fifteen minutes
  10. Take out of oven and cool for at least a half hour, then enjoy as is, or top with some non-dairy vanilla ice cream or whipped topping

I can’t even describe how happy I was with how this mock apple crisp turned out. I don’t know how or why, but the crackers really do look, taste and feel like apples while eating. It must be a combination of the acidic lemon juice and the spices. I even had a taste-tester, and I had them try it with their eyes closed to guess what it was. Their words exactly, “It definitely has apples in it.” I thought that was pretty cool.

All I can say is that the people who lived through the Great Depression really knew what they were doing with this mock apple pie idea.

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