Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dueling Vinegar Pies

Last weekend, my mom, step-dad, and sister went to the livestock auction with me. On the way home, we stopped at a little restaurant in Martinsburg, where we lived when I was in 1st/2nd grade. This place has the type of food you would find at a dairy stop, but it's more home cooked fare. My mom was reading the daily pie selection on the chalkboard. "Oh, you have vinegar pie!". They have what???? That sounds disgusting. My granny used to fix it for my mom when she was a kid. They only had one slice left (you mean people actually ate it?), so my mom bought it for my sister and me to split.

We finished our meal and it was time for dessert. We also had a piece of hickory nut pie. I tried that one first. It was good. It was almost indistinguishable from pecan pie. Now, it was time to trie the vinegar pie. It looked like the filling was kind of custard-like and the top looked like a sugary, crunchy layer. I'm not afraid of trying new things, in fact, I rather enjoy it. I'm glad I wasn't afraid to try it. It was delicious! It's not quite as smooth as a custard, but similar. It has an almost citrus taste, and the crunchy layer on top was a nice contrast to the filling.

I did a little research on-line about vinegar pie. I read that the early settlers would make it after their store of canned fruits had run out over the winter. There are more recipes than you can imagine. I decided to make one. I've always been a Pillsbury pie crust guy, but I figured it was time to make them from scratch. I read a few recipes and settled on this one. I really want to try one with lard. David at Spring Hill Farm is going to let me know when they have some in stock. On a side note, I'm on the list for a couple feeder pigs once he has some ready. Ohiofarmgirl has done too much raving about them. I just had to try them.

I decied to start with this recipe for the vinegar pie. The one that I had tasted didn't have any of these spices in it, but this one sounded good. You cook the filling in a double-boiler until it's thick and then pour it in a pie shell and bake. It came out very dark, since it has cloves, cinnamon, and allspice in it. It reminded me of a really good homemade apple butter like my grandparents and great-aunts used to make. It was very different from the pie I had tried, but still good.
Contender #1
My pie crust recipe made two crusts, and well, this pie just didn't blow me away. I did another Google search for vinegar pie and saw a picture in the 'images' section that looked a lot like the pie I had first tried. I clicked on the picture and found this recipe. It's actually a page for gluten-free recipes. I used regular flower and a pie crust. This one came out looking just like the one I had tried. For the most part, it tasted nearly identical too. I think I may cut back on the sugar and vanilla next time I make it, but it was DELICIOUS.  I used some organic apple cider vinegar with 'the mother' in it. The mother of vinegar is a mixture of cellulose and acetic acid bacteria that gives vinegar some great properties. Do you know all the wonderful things that vinegar can do? If not, I suggest you do some reading. It really is amazing.
We have a winner!

You really should try this pie. Take a look at some old recipes. This pie is incredibly easy and inexpensive to make. My pie crusts turned out pretty well, but they're far from perfect. Any of you have any great tips for making homemade crusts? I'm betting the lard will really help.


  1. I might have to try this, the thought of vinegar pie at first made my stomach turn but it sounds good!!

  2. Vinegar pie hmmm sounds different but I would try it. My name is Kathy aka The Mexican Hillbilly. I read about you on Ohio Farm Girl's blog post. I am new to your blog and just wanted to introduce myself.

  3. Hey Jeff thank you for the follow. We are looking forward to reading more of your blogs as well!