Recipe Review

Old-Fashioned Vinegar Pie for Pi Day

published Mar 12, 2010
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Pi Day is Sunday! (It’s March 14, which is 3.14, or pi. Get it?) This mathematically-significant date has a sweet and serendipitous homophone, and we’re glad to take any excuse to eat extra pie. Are you making a pie this weekend? Let us suggest one possible candidate: One with a silky, melt-in-your-mouth filling, and a sweet tang at the end.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Have you ever made a vinegar pie? It’s a forerunner or cousin of Southern chess pie, and it’s unusual enough to be fresh and interesting, but simple enough to be reliable and comforting.

I linked to a recipe for Vinegar Pie in a recent roundup, and I was really intrigued by it. Vinegar pie is a basic pie — one that uses a minimum of ingredients, and yet becomes far more than the sum of its parts. It’s an old-fashioned recipe, too, made up in places where cooks didn’t have the luxuries of fresh berries, lemons, apples, or other staples of pie fillings. It just uses eggs, sugar, water, and a bit of flour and cinnamon.

The process is simple: You blind bake a pie crust. (In this case, I used Trader Joe’s frozen pie crusts. I hardly ever use pre-made crusts, but I was in a hurry, and I ended up being quite pleasantly surprised! Two thumbs up for this pie dough.)

Then you cook together the eggs, water, and sugar just until it hits a certain temperature. Some recipes don’t even specify this pre-bake cooking, but I wasn’t taking chances.

Then you pour it into the baked shell, and bake again. Very easy, very simple.

The result, dusted with cinnamon and served with ice cream, is an incredibly light and smooth pie. It melts on your tongue, with a dark sweetness from the cooked sugar (plus I used brown sugar) and a faint tang from the vinegar at the end. Totally delicious!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Get the recipe: Vinegar Pie at Gourmet

Happy Pi Day! What are you going to make? Tell us here, and tell us if you have a particularly good recipe to share. In case you’re still looking for one, here are a few more favorites from our archives.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

More Pie Recipes for Pi Day

(Images: Faith Durand)