Vinegar pie is about as old-fashioned as you can get, it hails from the pioneer days and early settlers when they wanted a sweet treat and no fruit or other pie filling makings were available. This also has a relative shorter baking time than compared to apple pies, making it easier for a homestead cook to put on the table on busy days.
A holiday pie from days past, this vinegar pie was a favorite for Ma Ingalls. You will love how easy it is to make, and it is sure to become part of your holiday table, too.
This gorgeous pie will make your holiday table even more festive. A favorite of the Ingalls family, from back in the pioneer days, it was often served at their holiday parties.
What is vinegar pie?
Vinegar pie is a basic sugar pie, but with the added benefit of the vinegar. The vinegar is a flavoring agent that rounds out the sweetness of the granulated and brown sugars. It’s not like a sweet and sour flavor, it’s a perfect balance of the two.
Where did vinegar pie originate?
Laura Ingalls Wilder is said to be the first to write about it. Now, whether that is the truth or a fun story, it’s hard to confirm. It can be said that Charles would be working in the field, and look at his lovely wife, and say, “I want pie, Caroline.”
Then, Ma would go to work, collecting eggs, sugar, flour and salt, and get a delicious pie crust started. I can imagine that her skills were such that she was able to whip this pie up in 15 minutes or less, leaving plenty of time to get other items on the dinner table while the pie was baking.
This Little House Cookbook vinegar pie recipe is an old-fashioned treat and part of our cooking like Ma Ingalls series!
Is this old fashioned vinegar pie hard to make?
Not at all. This pie is super simple, and you will most likely already have the ingredients on hand. You will only need eggs, butter, flour, sugar, and a bit of nutmeg. Mix them together, pour into the crust and you are set! (no pun intended)
Can I use a prebaked pie crust?
Of course! But don’t let fear of messing up a pie crust stop you. This recipe for the best flaky pie crust is a winner every time and has a video and picture tutorial to help you create an easy to roll out and oh-so flaky crust.
To pre-bake your pie shell follow this recipe for flaky pie crust, line your 9 inch pie plate (or cast iron skillet which is likely how Ma Ingalls baked hers) with the crust. To keep your pie crust from puffing up, either use a fork to prick the sides and bottom of the pie crust or line the pie crust with parchment paper and use pie weights (dried beans work great). Preheat oven to 475 degrees F and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, then remove and fill with your pie filling. Shared from Hand Made: the Modern Guide to Made-from-Scratch Living
Loving these old-fashioned recipes? Snag your copy of Hand Made for over 100+ old timey from scratch recipes and goodness here.
What kind of vinegar should I use with this pie?
I have tested this recipe with both white and apple cider vinegar. For my own preferences, I like the flavor the apple cider vinegar brings. You can make your own apple cider vinegar easily, too. However, both will work easily and just as well in this recipe.
This vinegar pie sounds so easy to make! Is there a way I can mess it up?
It’s hard to mess up this simple pie recipe, but I suppose you could allow it to over bake and become a hard mess. If you are concerned, use a thermometer and when the pie reaches 165 degrees internal temperature, pull it out and let it cool from there.
Just a few pantry staple basics are needed to whip up this pie.In a separate large bowl, add the sugars, flour, and nutmeg. Stir well until no lumps remain. Alternatively, you can use a sifter for this. This 5 cup flour sifter is a great size (the 3 cups tend to be too small and take forever).
Stir in the melted butter, eggs, water, and vinegar.
Pour into prebaked pie shell and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.
Vinegar Pie Recipe
Vinegar Pie – Old-Fashioned Recipe from Ma Ingalls
- 1 pie shell
- ¼ cup butter
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar tightly packed
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- Pinch nutmeg
- 3 Tablespoons vinegar
- 1 cup water room temperature is fine
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place an oven proof bowl in the oven, and melt butter while oven is heating.
- Using a small bowl, beat the eggs. Set aside.
- In a separate large bowl, add the sugars, flour, and nutmeg. Stir well until no lumps remain. Alternatively, you can use a sifter for this.
- Stir in the melted butter, eggs, water, and vinegar.
- Pour into prebaked pie shell and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.
Thank you for sharing. Please go back and correct the Instructions in the Sentence listed below in the Recipe listed below. I do believe you meant to say cutting and not cooling. We all love you and thank you.
Vinegar Pie – Old-Fashioned Recipe from Ma Ingalls
Remove from oven and cool completely before “cooling”.
bty…Vinegar Pie is excellent
Ack, thanks for catching that, on my way to fix!
I have both of your books, LOVE them!
Thank you for staying true to who you were created to be. I don’t live on a homestead, but the one I would want is always in my heart.
I do however, bake and cook from scratch as much as a can. Just ground soft white wheat and made muffins this morning.
I believe it is the best we can do for our families, for our heritage and for the planet to stay as close to nature
Thank you for being the greatest role model of homesteading that I have come across.
Thank you so much for getting the books and I’m so glad you enjoy them! Did you have a favorite part or recipe from them?
And you definitely have a homestead kitchen so I think that makes you a homesteader. ?
Awesome job on the homegrown flour!!
I have wanted this vinegar recipe for years! This was my dad’s favorite while growing up 120 years ago on a farm in Missouri.
I’m so glad you found it here then! I find recipes are like memories, they connect me to family and friends and reach across the miles and years ?
If you love these old recipes, your readers might go look for The Little House Cookbook by Barbara Walker. I wore out my first copy and had to buy another because I enjoyed it so much. Ms. Walker quotes the book where the recipe is discussed, and then walks you through how it was done in Laura’s day. She did update a few things, like the canning section, but otherwise it’s very much as Ma or Laura cooked.
You must have missed it, but I linked to that book in the post above and shared the recipe was from that book ?
Maybe I missed it, but what size pie shell is this recipe designed for, please?
9 inch pie!
Ready to try your Vinegar Pie recipe…it brings to mind leaner times when maybe fruit was scarce in winter and good ‘ol American ingenuity took over resulting in such delights as Sugar Cream pies. Do I understand that the pie shell should be fully baked before adding the filling it and baking for another 30 minutes at 400 F. degrees ?? I fear my lovely crust would be burned beyond recognition!
You only pre-bake the pie shell for 8 minutes so adding another 30 minutes to bake the vinegar filling shouldn’t burn it. Keep an eye on the edges and you can always use a pie shield for the outer egdes
Thank you for the information.
Hi!! What are the little stars on the pie?
Funny thing, I just finished reading a chapter in Little House in the Big Woods to my children where Ma was making vinegar pie, and I thought, “Hmmmm, I wonder what that is!” Thank you for the recipe. Is it possible to substitute coconut oil or something else for the butter?
My family has enjoyed “Vinegar Pie” for years. The recipe we use came from my grandmother, but I”m not sure where she got it. In ours, the addition of shredded coconut, chopped pecans and golden raisins make it outrageously good! The very best thing about Vinegar Pie though, is the name. Because when you set it out at a pot-luck or tell guests the name of it, they typically pass . . . leaving lots of leftovers for you! LOL.