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Great Depression Honey + Vinegar Pie Recipe
Source: Cline Family Recipe Book (Entered by Lee and Jen Cline)
Don’t be fooled by its name. Vinegar pie has a custard-like filling that’s sweet and tangy. It rests inside a flaky pie crust and the gets topped with whipped cream, honey, and cinnamon.
When the Great Depression hit, American bakers, cooks, house wives were at a loss. With the price of lemons on the rise, pie devotees searched for tangy substitutes to sweet pies, and the vinegar pie was born. So they had to get creative when cooking with limited ingredients. Vinegar was 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 was very popular in Kansas. I recall eating honey vinegar pie growing up in Eastern Tennessee/Western North Carolina.
Serves: 8 servings
Step by Step Instructions
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Use pre-made crust or make your own pie crust. To make pie crust: Combine two thirds of flour with sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse twice to incorporate. Spread butter pats evenly over surface. Pulse until no dry flour remains and dough just begins to collect in clumps, about 25 short pulses. Use a rubber spatula to spread the dough evenly around the bowl of the food processor. Sprinkle with remaining flour and pulse until dough is just barely broken up, about 5 short pulses. Transfer dough to a large bowl. Sprinkle with water. Then, using a rubber spatula, fold and press dough until it comes together into a ball. Divide ball in half. Form each half into a 4-inch disk. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before rolling and baking. When ready to shape the dough, pull out one ball, set it on a well-floured work surface, and sprinkle with more flour. Use a tapered rolling pin to start rolling the dough out into a circle, lifting the dough and rotating it while rolling to achieve an even shape. Continue rolling, changing the angle of your rolling pin as you go to get an even shape and thickness. The finished dough should overhang your pie plate by an inch or two. Pick up the dough by carefully rolling it around your rolling pin, using your bench scraper to help lift it off the work surface. Unroll it over a pie plate. Gently lift and fit the dough into the pie plate, getting down into the corners.Flute the edges of the pie crust using the forefinger of one hand and the thumb and forefinger of the other. The single-crust pie shell is ready to be blind-baked or filled. For a double-crusted pie, brush with an egg white, sprinkle with sugar, and cut vent holes in the top with a sharp knife before baking. For a slightly more tender crust, replace up to 6 tablespoons of butter with vegetable shortening. Pie dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator before rolling and baking.
- Whisk eggs in a medium-sized bowl. Combine remaining filling ingredients. When creamy and smooth, pour into crust. Topping ReVinegar Cream 1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold 2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons natural cane sugar 1 tablespoons honey 1 pinch of cinnamon (optional)
- Bake for 20 minutes. Cover top with foil and continue baking for about 15 minutes more, until center no longer jiggles when pan is slightly jostled. Remove from oven and cool completely.
- To make vinegar cream, whip cream until thickened. Stir in vinegar and sweeten to taste. It should make you pucker up.
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