Also known as Ritz Cracker Pie or Soda Cracker Pie, this simple Mystery Pie yields a crispy shell and nutty, rich filling.
When I’m feeling stuck in a rut in the kitchen I like to flip through old church cookbooks. Often I’ll see a recipe for something that I grew up with and just forgot about. Other times it will inspire me to try something new. This time, though, I was completely baffled by a recipe I found. What in the world is Mystery Pie?
The reason this recipe even caught my eye was the fact that the SAME recipe was in the SAME cookbook three times. They are listed one right after another. I had to laugh, because you know the lady in charge of putting the book together didn’t want to offend someone by not including her recipe. So we have “Mystery Pie,” “Melba’s Mystery Pie,” and “Grandma’s Mystery Pie.”
All on the same page.
They only differ in the amount of baking powder and the exact number of crackers called for in the ingredients list. I guess that’s how Melba can get away with calling it “Melba’s” mystery pie. 😉
After I read the recipes, I re-read them. And I read them again. How does this combination of ingredients make anything?!? There’s no crust, there’s no flour, and you only use egg whites. What kind of dark magic is this?
If you’ve never heard of Mystery Pie, you may have heard of Soda Cracker Pie or Ritz Cracker Pie. From what I can tell, they are all the same thing. You mix up four or five ingredients, put them in the oven, and out comes this crispy pie with a rich and slightly gooey inside!
I chose to make Melba’s Mystery Pie, because the recipe had more details in the instructions and included baking powder. The other two either had no baking powder or WAY too much. (I don’t think I’ve ever put 3 tsp of baking powder in anything.) This was 100% about just seeing what it would look like when it came out of the oven, as well as how it tastes. (Which was surprisingly good, by the way!)
If you like vintage recipes like this, you should check out a few others I’ve made from various old church cookbooks or handed-down family recipes!
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 20 Ritz crackers crushed
- 1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans and walnuts)
- whipped topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9" pie pan.
- Beat egg whites and baking powder until stiff. Blend in sugar and vanilla.
- Fold in crackers and nuts. Pour into greased pie pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool completely. Top with freshly whipped cream or whipped topping to serve.
I’m still surprised by how crispy the top was and how rich and nutty the inside became while baking! I’m sure Alton Brown would have some sort of interesting science behind how this all works, but I was just happy it tasted OK! It’s not pretty to look at, but if you like nuts, you’ll really like Mystery Pie!
If no bake desserts are more your thing, try this easy Strawberry Creamsicle Pie!