This Amish vinegar pie recipe is an old favorite that draws upon Great Depression scarcity to whip up a wonderful dessert.I first heard about vinegar pie years ago when I was visiting with Elizabeth Coblentz, the original Amish Cook. When she mentioned the Amish vinegar pie recipe to me my reaction was "eewwww, gross." Just doesn't sound the most appetizing, but don't let the name scare you. It's a pretty decent pie!
I have thought of changing the name to "mock lemon pie" because that is what it really is. Others call it a "desperation pie." But Amish cooks were ingenious inventors when it came to scratching out food for their family during the lean years of the Great Depression and other times of scarcity.
We've seen other inventive desserts and meals created by the Amish during times of scarcity. Check out these other Amish recipes from the Great Depression.
Lemons and other citrus were in short supply during turn-of-the-century and Great Depression America so their answer to that was "vinegar pie." It truly does taste like lemon. Just mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and pour into a pie crust like the photo shows. I cheated and used a pre-made crust because time was a factor, but you can use our easy "pat-a-pan" pie crust recipe. I like all my stuff (I'm weird) well-done, so I baked this pie a few minutes longer than necessary. But you get a nice, golden pie. See my slice at the bottom. You really do get a great taste of what authentic Amish baking was like at its most ingenious and a sense of the culinary sparsity in the early days of their culture. WARNING: being the Amish Cook's Editor is hazardous to one's pants size:( But this Amish vinegar pie recipe is worth the extra pounds.
Pat A Pan Crust
1 ½ tsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ cup vegetable oil
3 tbsp. cold milk
Place the flour, sugar, and salt in a 9in pie plate and mix with your fingers until evenly blended. In a measuring cup, combine the oil milk and beat until creamy. Pour all at onceover the flour mixture. Mix with a fork until the flour mixture is completely moistened. Pat the dough with your fingers, first at the sides of the plate and then across the bottom. Flute the edges.
- Amish Vinegar Pie
- ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, blend the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, stirring vigorously with a fork. Add the vinegar, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk vigorously for 1 full minute, until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Pour into the unbaked pie crust. Bake until butter knife inserted in the center comes out clean. About 45 minutes. The pie will be golden brown. Cool on wire rack until firm. Refrigerate.