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Vinegar pie has a custard-like filling that’s sweet and tangy. It rests inside a flaky pie crust and the gets topped with whipped cream, honey, and cinnamon.
Vinegar Pie may sound weird but it’s actually very unique and super tasty. It’s a classic pie originating in the North and Midwest back in the 19th century.
It closely resembles a lemon pie in look and flavor! And it’s made with a homemade pie crust. If you’re looking for something different to share with your friends and family, this pie is it!
Have you ever had a desperation pie like vinegar pie?
A very dear friend of mine sent me images from an old church cookbook that belonged to her grandmother. There were so many interesting recipes in that book like lemon chess pie and honey pie, but vinegar pie caught my attention.
After doing some more research I learned that this pie was super popular in Kansas where my friend and her family are from.
Back in the day when resources were low, people would turn to vinegar as a flavoring. This is how vinegar pie came to be. And, surprisingly, it’s very good!
Why this Vinegar Pie recipe works
- The crust is thick and flaky which is a great contrast to the custard filling and it’s prebaked so it remains crisp after adding the filling.
- The filling is cooked on the stovetop before it goes in the crust to be baked again. This makes sure the filling is thick and fully set.
- Adding whipped cream helps balance the tart flavor of the filling.
How to make vinegar pie?
There are several ingredients needed for my version and most of them you will already have in the pantry.
The pie will need to chill in the refrigerator afterward so it sets up. It’s best to let it chill overnight. But you can get away with only a couple hours in the refrigerator after it has cooled completely to room temperature
Here’s how to put it together…
Make the crust. Cut butter and shortening into flour and salt until pea-sized crumbs form. Drizzle in just enough cold water to get the dough to stick together. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 2 hours.
Bake the crust. Roll the dough out to fit into a 9-inch pan. Trim off the excess and flute the edges. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork and line it with parchment paper. Fill the paper with pie weights, dried beans, or rice, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the parchment paper with the weights and bake for another 8 minutes.
Make the filling. Heat water and vinegar to a boil. Whisk eggs, sugar, cornstarch, and salt together. Slowly drizzle the hot liquid into the egg mixture while stirring constantly. Pour the custard back into the pot and cook until thickened while whisking constantly. Whisk in butter and pour the hot filling into the baked pie shell.
Bake. Bake the pie for 15-18 minutes until the filling has set but jiggles slightly.
Cool and refrigerate. Allow the pie to cool to room temperature then refrigerate it for at least 4 hours.
Add toppings. Spread whipped cream over the top of the filling. Drizzle with honey and cinnamon if desired.
What does vinegar pie taste like?
To me, the pie tastes tangy like a lemon pie. Then sugar gives it a luscious sweetness to balance the tart vinegar. It’s really hard to describe the flavor but the vinegar works in this pie.
What type of vinegar is best for vinegar pie?
The type of vinegar makes all the difference. I tested this recipe with cider vinegar because it’s called for in many recipes online. Cider vinegar does not work in this pie. It’s gross! DON’T DO IT! Choose a distilled white vinegar with around 5-8% acidity.
If you like this vinegar pie recipe, try these other pie recipes:
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This is such a classic!