Pioneer Vinegar Pie

02 Dec

Well, this was my first cooking failure since starting the blog, and it was my own fault. I missed the part of the instructions that says “Pour into a double boiler and cook over boiling water until thick.” I just poured the whole completely liquid mixture into the pie and started baking. As a result, it ended up baking for hours until it was solid enough, and it looks completely ugly (see below picture – I was struggling so much to figure out if it was done/edible I forgot to take a photo before we tasted it). However, it actually tastes fine (if a little dark of crust).

Some background on this unusual-sounding recipe: I’ve been reading the Little House series of books to Woody (I reread them myself about a year ago, and I realized how much he would enjoy them, but how unlikely he was to read them on his own), and as an exercise, I’ve been writing down food that is mentioned in order to try to make it myself (with limits, clearly I’m not going to make prairie hen gravy). Other possibilities so far include Swedish Crackers, Hasty Pudding, Maple Sugar Cake, etc. There’s even a cookbook of Little House recipes that I haven’t checked out yet, but I plan to.

When I happened across Vinegar Pie as we were reading, I thought the name sounded kind of disgusting, but I was curious what was actually in it. When I Googled it, it didn’t sound half bad. Now after this failure, I’m curious what it really tastes like when you do it properly!


2 tablespoons butter

½ cup sugar

3 tablespoons flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. ground cloves

½ tsp. ground allspice

[per usual, I added a bunch of nutmeg]

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoon cider vinegar

[not in original recipe, but I added the juice of one lemon]

1 cup water

1 9” pie crust that had been briefly baked (about 3 minutes) at 450 degrees


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar.  Sift together flour and spices then add to flour mixture, mix well.  Beat in egg, vinegar and water.  Pour into a double boiler and cook over boiling water until thick.  Pour into the pie shell and bake about 30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

–Recipe courtesy

The very ugly, but still tasty pie:

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Posted by on December 2, 2011 in Uncategorized


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