Pies are a favorite of Recipe Box readers, and one request that always elicits a number of responses is vinegar pie. In the past, the stuffed file folder for such a request has measured a couple of inches wide. We published some homemade pie recipes back in 2004, and in 2009, vinegar pie was featured in my blog post, “Foodie Thoughts” (www.Grit.com/foodie).
Homemade Pie Recipes:
Vinegar Pie Recipe
Vinegar Pie With Spices
Vinegar Pie With Vanilla
Furr's Cafeteria Butter Chess Pie
Homemade Apple Pie
Grandma Wilson's Homemade Apple Pie
Crock-Pot Apple Pie
Diabetic Sugarless Apple Pie
Oh So Good Pie
While I am still reluctant to try this pie, many of the comments I’ve read tout it as a wondrous treat. In that reading, however, I have discovered a secret: The pie’s taste seems to depend on the amount and type of vinegar used. Most say apple cider vinegar is the best choice, and somewhere in the range of a few tablespoons is the best amount. The pie is to be sweet, with enough tang to awaken tired, winter-weary taste buds.
Many who delve into the history of recipes report that vinegar pie was probably of frontier origin, during a time when the ingredients were staples in everyone’s pantry. It was a late winter/early spring treat; the last of the spring supplies were gone and everyone was craving warmer weather. Many a recipe is titled Mock Lemon Pie, because the vinegar can taste a bit like lemons, and it was created in a time when lemons were scarce.
Surprisingly enough, vinegar pie and chess pie are very similar. Both are a custardy concoction with a filling of eggs, butter and sugar. Chess pie often contains a touch of cornmeal.
The simplest form of vinegar pie uses a single pie crust filled with the heated mixture of eggs, butter and sugar. Oftentimes other flavorings are added, such as lemon extract, lemon zest or juice, vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. You also can dress up the pie with nuts, berries, meringue or whipped cream.
Any way you slice it, vinegar pie is unusual enough to warrant at least one try by cooks everywhere.