A Holiday Pie

| 11/19/2013 9:19:00 PM

Tags: Holiday Pie, Traditions, Vinegar Pie, Mary Conley,

Mary ConleyTRADIT-I-O-N! Yes, as the holidays approach, I’m sure you would say they just wouldn’t be the same without certain foods. I would like to tell you about an unusual dessert from my side of the family. Vinegar pie! I know how it sounds, but I love it. My mom explained that there weren’t any fruit trees in Kansas where they lived in their early marriage, so she had to use what was available. I guess vinegar was available.

Many in our extended family also like it, but of course, not everyone. I always feel badly when a new member takes a little bite and that is it, because I think it can be an acquired taste. My sister-in-law, Hazel, likes it but always said it should be spruced up a little. It has the look and texture of lemon meringue pie minus the meringue. Oh, and it is gray instead of yellow! I always thought I would put meringue on it sometime, but never have.

Here is my mom’s recipe, and of course, she came from the era when measurements were never exact. Just a pinch of this or that. So frustrating! I’ve tried to write it down correctly, but sometimes you just need to experiment and hope for the best. If you make one for the fun of it, let everyone take a bite or two, then if they like it, I’d just serve a small piece. The flavor is a little strong for some, and as I mentioned before, it might be an acquired taste. Larry said to tell you that he loves vinegar pie, but he thinks you shouldn’t tell what it is until AFTER its been tasted!

Vinegar Pie:

1/4 c apple cider vinegar (scant) (scantier!)

1/2 c flour (rounding)

12/10/2013 7:16:15 PM

Thanks! I will try it!

12/10/2013 6:10:02 PM

Ooops....sorry everything is all run together in the recipe I posted. Didn't look like that when I typed it in the box. The way it printed out it's hard to see that the amount of water is 1 1/2 cups.

12/10/2013 6:05:41 PM

Hi! Just noticed your response, here's the Vinegar Pie recipe..... Baked 9" pie shell 3 egg yolks, beaten 1 c. sugar 1/4 tsp. salt 1 3/4 c. boiling water 1/4 c. cider vinegar 1/4 c. cornstarch 1/4 c. cold water 1 tsp. lemon extract Meringue (3 egg whites) 1. Place egg yolks in top of double boiler; add sugar and salt. Gradually add boiling water, stirring constantly. Add vinegar and cornstarch dissolved in cold water. Cook over boiling water until thick and smooth, about 12 minutes. 2. Remove from heat. Add lemon extract. Stir until filling is smooth and blended, scraping sides of pan. 3. Pour hot filling into pie shell. Top lukewarm filling with meringue spreading to edges and sealing to crust. Bake in moderate oven (350 F) 12 to 15 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned.

12/7/2013 9:34:28 AM

Tricia, yes, I would be interested in that recipe. Thanks for responding.

11/26/2013 10:19:45 AM

I have had the lemon flavored version of vinegar pie and it is quite good. "The Farm Journal's Complete Pie Book" 1965 edition has a recipe on page 121. Completely different from your recipe as it uses eggs and lemon extract. The same amount of vinegar and sugar and is topped by meringue. If anyone is interested I can post the recipe.

11/26/2013 7:53:40 AM

My wife makes some real good cakes using more sour cream than anything else. That is something I think you don't tell people until after they eat it too. I may have to try this vinegar pie sometime.

11/25/2013 10:15:14 PM

I've never tried vinegar pie, but I know a few people who speak very highly of this dessert from kitchens of past generations. Thank you for sharing the recipe. I, too, am amazed by how people improvised with what was available to them and ended up creating cherished foods for generations.

11/24/2013 9:43:21 AM

Mary, I have heard of vinegar pie but have not tasted it. Country folks of my Dad and grandparents generation were very ingenious about making many things. It didn't stop at the kitchen either. My Dad liked minced meat pie but never tasted it and couldn't see any meat in the pie. I came across a mock apple piece recipe once that used only soda crackers in stead of apples. The same ingredients as the apple pie were used but the cracker substitution was made. I do love apple pie but never tried that recipe either as apples are quite abundant in my area. It is amazing how women of 100 years ago could feed their families on literally almost nothing. We should really revisit that mentality for today's culture. ***** Have a great traditions day.

11/22/2013 7:50:04 PM

Homespun - Interesting! You'll have to try the vinegar for fun! Miss Editress - I like the spices, too! Thanks for commenting!

11/22/2013 11:40:17 AM

Hi Mary - I searched through Grandma's cookbook last night in vain trying to find a recipe like this one. I found one using maple syrup and one using maple sugar, but none featuring vinegar!

11/21/2013 3:22:34 PM

My Grandma introduced vinegar pie to me at Christmastime. It was love at first bite. ...Possibly because I was expecting something nasty (I was informed beforehand of the name, and the color is a tad deterring), but the warm spices nicely surprised me. I've also seen recipes with lemon flavoring instead of the spices (although I doubt lemon was available when vinegar was first made!). It *would* be good with meringue!

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