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What Is a Vinegar Pie? Info and Recipe

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The vinegar pie

The vinegar pie

All About Vinegar Pie

As someone who will eat any kind of pie, the idea of a vinegar pie doesn't shock me at all. However, depending on where you live, it may be unheard of. In New York and Chicago, we are familiar with bean pies, which still shocks a few people. Even sweet potato pies are unknown to people without Southern roots.

  • So then, what is a vinegar pie? When you think about it, one of the most popular pies is the traditional "mom and apple pie" pie. And vinegar, rather than apple cider vinegar (ACV), is made from apples. A vinegar pie has a bit of vinegar to give it that nice, tart apple taste.
  • What is the history? Vinegar has been used in flavoring pies since the 19th century in the North and Midwest. It provided a tart flavor for desserts when fruits like apples and lemons were not available. It seems to have been popular in Kansas.
  • Any recipes? I asked a friend for her recipe and a photo, and she is, like many great bakers, one who says, "just throw in a pinch of this and some of that," and it is perfect every time.

There are what seems to be hundreds of recipes on the internet, some with lots of spices—like nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamon, others with raisins or lemon and brown sugar instead of white. Some very early recipes did not have eggs.

The recipe variations are quite different and have expanded greatly from the original simple pie, which was probably made with the simplest ingredients available. So I will list the most basic ones:


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 4 organic eggs, lightly beaten
  • 5 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter


  1. Combine sugar and flour
  2. Add all other ingredients
  3. Cook in a saucepan until thick
  4. pour into your prepared pie crust
  5. Bake at 375 F until the crust is brown—about 20 minutes until the center is set

Note: Some people like to put it under the broiler for a few minutes.