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 has a custard-like filling that’s sweet and tangy. It closely resembles a lemon pie in look and flavor! If you’re looking for something different to share with your friends and family, this pie is it!
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 but vinegar pie caught my attention. Like, how could that be good?
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!
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.
There are several ingredients needed for my version and most of them you will already have in the pantry. The pie crust is made first and blind baked to ensure it’s crispy and flakey. The filling starts off on the stove top and then goes over the baked pie crust before going into the oven to bake until it’s set.
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.
I topped the pie with homemade whipped cream but I’m fairly certain meringue would be just as delicious. A sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey tied the whole thing together. I highly recommend the honey. It pairs wonderfully with the filling.
One important thing to note here. 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.
HOW DO YOU MAKE VINEGAR PIE?
There are 3 parts to the pie.
- Homemade buttery pie crust
- Sweet and tangy filling
- Sweet toppings like whipped cream, cinnamon, and honey
The crust is made from my homemade pie crust. The recipe yields enough for 2 pies. Freeze the other half of the dough to use at a later time.
Blind bake the crust with pie weights for about 20 minutes. Remove the weights and bake it for another 8 minutes. The filling goes right into the crust after baking. You don’t need to let crust cool beforehand.
For the filling, you’ll need:
- distilled white vinegar
The filling is actually super easy. Everything gets mixed together and cooked on the stovetop until it’s thick like pudding, then it goes right into the warm pie crust.
Classic vinegar pie is served warm but I prefer it really cold. This recipe is designed to have to be chilled after baking. So let the pie cool completely to room temperature and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours but it’s best refrigerated overnight.
Decorate the top with whipped cream, cinnamon, and honey. You can spread the whipped cream over the top or use a tip to pipe fun designs.
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 has a custard-like filling that’s sweet and tangy. It actually resembles a lemon pie in look and flavor! If you’re looking for something different to share with your friends and family, this pie is it!
Prepare the pie crust according to the recipe and chill for at least 1 hour. You need only half the dough so freeze the second half for use at a later date.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the pie crust to fit a 9-inch pie dish. Place in pie dish; trim off any excess along the edges. Flute the edges with fingertips. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. Line with parchment paper and fill with pie weights.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment paper. Bake for another 8 minutes.
While the crust is baking, make the filling. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
Combine the water and vinegar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Slowly add the warm water mixture to the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Slowly pour the mixture back into the saucepan.
Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring constantly until the mixture is thick like pudding. Stir in the butter until melted and fully combined. Pour into the prepared pie crust.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the pie is set but jiggles slightly. Cover the edges of the crust if they begin to get too brown. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Top with whipped cream, cinnamon, and/or honey if desired.
Make ahead tip
The crust can be pre-baked for up to 2-3 days in advance. Cover and store at room temperature.
The baked pie will keep for up to 3 months covered tightly and stored in the freezer. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
All images and text ©Jen Sobjack/Baked by an Introvert.