Mock Apple Pie

Few foods are more iconic than a bubbling, fresh-from-the-oven apple pie. But this recipe is a little different from what you’re probably thinking. For starters, you’ll notice that there aren’t actually any apples to be found in the ingredients list. The recipe’s origin is traced back to the late 1800s when fresh apples were scarce and could be replaced with juicy green tomatoes, cinnamon, and lemon juice. It saw surges in popularity during times of tough, economic hardship in the South, like during the Great Depression and during World War II rationing. We love it for this time of year when apples aren’t in season, and better yet, it’s fun to see the faces on our family and friends when they realize they can’t tell the difference between the classic apple pie and this enticing take.

Mock Apple Pie
Don’t be afraid to top this tomato-filled treat with sweetened whipped cream.
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1¾ teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 cups firm green tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch slices (about 12 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 (14.1-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. In a large bowl, combine granulated sugar, flour, 1½ teaspoons cinnamon, and salt. Add tomatoes and lemon juice; toss to coat.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, unroll 1 piecrust. Gently roll into a 12-inch circle, if needed. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch metal pie plate. Pour tomato mixture into crust. Dot with butter pieces.
  4. Unroll remaining piecrust; gently roll into a 12-inch circle, if needed. Cut into 1-inch strips. Arrange strips in a lattice design over tomato mixture. Fold edges under and crimp as desired. Freeze until crust is firm, 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Using a pastry brush, brush crust with egg. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust with remaining ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet.
  6. Bake until edges are lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Cover edges with foil. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling in the center, 1 hour and 5 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.