Molly's Appley Apple-less Pie
by Hermi2 & Madame Pince
Molly Weasley had elected not to attend the match, instead planned to prepare a celebratory feast once her brood and friends returned. She had even promised Arthur to make his favorite apple pie for dessert. It'd be the perfect ending to a perfect outing for the children.
There was a lot to cook, especially since Molly's habit was to make more than enough. But without children and husband demanding her attention, she had nearly finished making the meal and was ready to begin making the pies when her family returned, hours earlier than expected! And they weren't alone; with them were the Diggorys and other adults and families who worked with Arthur at the Ministry.
There was a lot of talking and explaining about the horrific incidents after the match. Seeing everyone so agitated, Molly had her daughter Ginny helped to make hot tea to settle them down. They did eventually get calmer and realized they were hungry! Molly put out all the food she'd made to feed the crowd. It was a good thing it was all comfort food, for everyone needed comforting and they ate a lot. By the time she realized that Ginny had put out the apples meant to be cooked into dessert, they were all eaten!
As she scurried around the ramshackle (but cozy) kitchen wondering how to fulfill her promise to Arthur to bake him his favorite apple pie, she suddenly remembered an unusual assignment she'd done in Herbology when she was a student at Hogwart's.
Professor Sprout had long ago been a young, newly hired assistant professor, and she'd just been appointed to take Professor Verbena Hornswaggle's place while the latter was on sabbatical to study medicinal applications of tropical flora somewhere near the equator. Young Pomona Sprout quickly became a favorite of the students because she allowed them to get their hands dirty in the greenhouses repotting magical plants and even snack on the leaves and flowers of the edible specimens. She expected her students to experience plants with every one of their five senses, including taste.
Sprout talked about textures and tastes, and how many plants would mimic others in order to get eaten (or not eaten) by animals which could help spread the seeds. It made the students really understand why plants existed and how they adapted to survive.
The assignment Molly remembered was to make any fruit pie without the actual fruit for which it was named. The idea was to fool the tastebuds by using a common plant to mimic the flavors and textures of another. She smiled as she remembered. Professor Sprout had given them the basic formula and said that the class would judge the results of their own pie-making efforts. She had nearly failed the assignment because by the time Professor Sprout got to her, her paramour had eaten nearly the whole thing! There was only a small sliver left for Professor Sprout to taste.
When she did taste it, her eyebrows went up in surprise. "Miss Prewitt, how did you make this? I have never tasted anything like it! And obviously Mr. Weasley approves of it as well. 50 points to Gryffindor!" Molly blushed as her classmates cheered and heckled her accomplishment and Arthur's obvious and public interest in her.
As the crowd at her kitchen table clattered their plates happily as they ate her good food, she came out of her reverie and started digging through her cupboards, trying to remember the long-forgotten recipe. Molly knew that Arthur would love it, and she could make enough for everyone (even if Arthur ate a whole pie himself!)
Place one of the two pie crusts into a pie pan and ease to fit.
Bring the water to a boil in a 1½ quart saucepan. Mix the sugar with the cream of tartar and add to the boiling water. Add lemon extract and stir to mix thoroughly.
Add 25 whole Ritz crackers to the water, one at a time. Do not stir.
Boil for 3 minutes but do not stir.
Pour this mixture into the prepared pie crust. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon and dot lightly with the butter.
Cover with the second pie crust and crimp the edge. Pierce the top crust several times with a knife or the tines of a fork to allow the steam to escape.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is deep golden brown. Allow to cool before serving.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
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