30 July 2012

Soda Cracker Pie

Necessity is the mother of invention.  Plato originally introduced the idea in "The Republic", and Southern cooks have truly taken it to heart.  Soda Cracker Pie is a great example of that ingenuity.  This pie takes what seems like nothing and turns it into a really tasty pie.

egg whites beaten to soft peaks
If you haven't heard of it before, you are probably asking youself, "What the heck is Soda Cracker Pie?".  Well, it does use soda crackers, or saltines, but unlike many of my favorite desserts, it is not the slightest bit salty.  The base of this pie is egg whites, so it is essentially a meringue in pie form.  The texture is reminicent of a Parisian macaron -- crispy on the outside and slightly chewy in the middle.  This heavenly, light pie is the opposite of everything you would expect from something that uses crackers as its primary ingredient.

Soda Cracker Pie is super simple, too.  It's waaaay easier than making macarons.  Since you don't have to fool with a crust, this pie takes about 10 minutes to pull together (and most of that is whipping the egg whites).  If you have been reading my blog, you know I'm a big fan of really easy desserts.  This pie is one of the easiest around.

pie just before going into the oven
I must warn you -- this pie is not pretty.  It is almost impossible to cut a nice, clean slice without the edges crumbling.  It's all about the way it tastes, though.  Right??  This pie also needs to  be served with whipped cream.  Well, actually it needs to be served with whipped topping, a.k.a. Cool Whip.  I have tried this pie with real whipped cream, which I love more than almost anything, but there is something about the flavor of whipped topping that just works perfectly with this pie. 

finished pie ready for eatin'
Soda Cracker Pie
makes one 8" pie

Print me, Please!!!

3 egg whites, room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar
16 soda crackers, crushed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c chopped pecans
whipped topping or sweetened whipped cream for serving

Preheat oven to 325°.

Beat the egg whites until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form.  Gradually add the sugar, a few tablespoons at a time.  Beat on high until mixture is glossy.  Fold in soda crackers, vanilla, and pecans until fully incorporated.  Pour mixture into a lightly greased 8" pie plate. 

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until lightly golden.  Let cool completely in pan.

Serve with a dollop of whipped topping.

*note -- don't worry about crushing the crackers evenly or too finely.  Just make sure there aren't any big chunks and you'll be fine.

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