Sunday, March 2, 2014

headin' to a weddin' - Ritz Cracker Pie

Ritz Cracker Pie
Eatery at the Depot - Branchville, SC
Back in September of last year, I had Ritz Cracker Pie for the very first time.  It was at a breakfast for my dear cousin, who was getting married later that afternoon.  The breakfast was hosted at the most  darling, Eatery at the Depot, a retired railroad junction depot, in Branchville, South Carolina. This railroad junction was the first railroad junction in the world,  and although the depot is no longer associated with the railroad, you can still watch the trains go by on a regular basis.

The fall air was just getting chilly, and they served a hot, southern breakfast of eggs, biscuits, sausage, what more could you want?  But when dessert was served, and I took the first bite,  I was confounded.  What was this slightly soft, slightly crisp,  just salty enough while still being sweet,  little confection on my plate?  "Well haven't you ever had Ritz Cracker Pie before?", asked my great aunt.  When we retrurned to the main house that afternoon,  she went through her recipe collection and gave me a copy of the recipe.  She knew it by heart, and was happy for me to take it.

Now 6 months later, we're back in South Carolina for another cousin's wedding, and I can't help thinking about this pie again.  It's such a surprising little dessert - simple to make, and so enjoyable to eat.

putting on the Ritz

Ritz Cracker Pie

 20 Ritz crackers, crushed into a fine crumb
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Whipped cream topping:
1 pint whipping cream 

Pre-heat the oven to 350F
grease a pie plate w/ butter.

Beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.  Add vanilla, and combine thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, pecans, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Fold the cracker mixture into the egg whites.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pie plate and bake for 30 minutes.

In the meantime,  whip the cream, using a wire wisk, or a stand mixer.

Remove from the pie from the oven and let cool completely. 

Top with whipped cream.
Eat up Y'all! 

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