Vinegar Pie Recipe
Vinegar Pie? Seriously? OK, before you simply turn away and scoff – I urge you to just give me a moment to make my case.
Vinegar pie is in a class of pies known as “desperation pies” – recipes born out of desperation for something sweet that could be made out of almost nothing.
I imagine pioneer women making this pie – not The Pioneer Woman, Rhee Drummond, whose life is anything but desperate but REAL pioneer women – the women who left everything behind to forge ahead into the wilderness and carve out an existence despite the dangers seemingly around every corner.
These women were strong and brave and had to work just as hard as men, if not harder. After traveling for hundreds of miles in covered wagons, they had to help build a house and make a home with very little. They had to garden if they wanted to eat, build fires if they were going to cook, bathe, or do laundry, make clothing, clean, and cook, and raise children. They had to know how to shoot a gun. They had no indoor plumbing or electricity. They worked from sun-up to sun-down. And they had to make do with what they had.
It is no wonder that (at least in my imagination) these women baked a lot of pies. Because after all, pie makes everything a little better.
This pie has only a few pantry ingredients and is dead simple to make – at least it is nowadays when you don’t have to ferment your own vinegar, raise chickens and collect eggs, churn butter, build a fire, and grind your own grains.
I’ve taken a few liberties with this recipe and swapped out regular vinegar for rice vinegar. I find the taste is more delicate and surprisingly citrusy. A really good thing if you want lemon pie and don’t have any lemons.
I urge you to try this pie. And while you are enjoying a slice, think of our fore-mothers – those strong, fierce, brave women who helped shape this country. We can learn a lot from these dedicated, strong-willed, innovative women who learned how to survive!
For the Crust:
For the Filling:
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons melted butter or dairy-free butter
- 3 tablespoons Marukan Rice Vinegar
- ½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt
Make the Crust:
- Cut butter into ½-inch pieces and place it the freezer for 15-30 minutes.
- Add some ice cubes to the water and let it get ice cold while preparing the dry ingredients.
- Combine the flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 5-6 times to combine. Add the butter and pulse 6-8 times or until the mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea size pieces of butter.
- With the processor running, add the vinegar and ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture just barely starts to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough together and it holds then you have enough water, if not add more a little at a time. You do not want to add any more water than is absolutely necessary.
- Remove the dough from the machine and form into a disk.
- To roll the dough, lay a piece of waxed paper on a work surface and sprinkle with some flour. Lay the dough on the floured paper, sprinkle with some more flour and lay on another piece of waxed paper. Roll the dough into a circle approximately 12 inches wide. Remove the top sheet of waxed paper and carefully transfer into a 9-inch pie plate and remove the waxed paper. Push the dough very gently down so it lines the bottom and sides of the pie plate. If the dough splits or breaks apart just push it back together. Trim the edge of the pie crust to about ½- to ¾-inch overhang. Tuck the overhang under and pinch the dough into a decorative finish. Refrigerate crust for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a piece of parchment paper on the crust and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and parchment paper, prick the dough with a fork, and bake for another 10 minutes. The pie crust will still be pale at this point.
Make the Filling:
- Whisk all ingredients together. Pour into the partially baked crust. Bake for another 30-35 minutes or until golden browned and puffed. Let cool. The filling will settle as it cools. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
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