In the days before modern transportation brought all kinds of fruits to every market any time of year, cooks had to use their ingenuity. When lemons were not available, vinegar provided a tart substitute and vinegar pie was born. The taste is amazing in how closely it resembles lemon. Vinegar pie is absolutely delicious – a taste treat all its own.
For as many years as there has been wine, there has been vinegar. From the French word for “sour wine”, vinegar has become an integral part of human existence – whether for consumption in some form, as a preservative, for medicinal purposes, or for use in laundry and cleaning. Actually, vinegar is the byproduct of many different things: apples, rice, grapes (thus balsamic vinegar), etc. – it is simply a fermentation of the sugar in any natural food. Vinegar can be traced back to circa 5000 BC.
Vinegar’s uses in the kitchen are well-known; here are just a few:
- Add vinegar to the water when poaching eggs and it helps the whites form around the yolks.
- Add vinegar to white sauce for a zippier taste.
- Add vinegar to the water when hard-boiling eggs so the egg will stay in the shell in the event of a crack.
- Improve the moistness of any cake by adding a teaspoon of vinegar to the batter.
- Pie crusts can be flakier by adding a tablespoon of vinegar in place of a tablespoon of the water.
- Marinate meat in wine vinegar and herbs to tenderize it.
- Add a teaspoon of vinegar to the water when cooking rice for fluffier rice.
- Add a little vinegar to pasta water in place of salt for a great taste, no stickiness, and no sodium.
- Add a little vinegar to homemade soup for a wonderful taste.
- Make a vinegar pie!
Vinegar Pie Recipe
Ingredients for Vinegar Pie:
- 9-inch pie crust, baked
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 heaping tablespoons flour
- 1 cup cold water
- 3 egg yolks (keep the whites, as you will need them for the meringue)
- 1 whole egg
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons vinegar
Directions for making Vinegar Pie:
In a large saucepan, mix together the sugar and flour. Add the water, egg yolks, the whole egg, butter, and vinegar. Over medium heat, cook the mixture until thick – stirring constantly.
Once thickened, pour the mixture into the baked 9-inch pie shell. Cover with meringue (recipe below) – making sure to seal the edges. Put into an oven preheated to 350 degrees. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the peaks of the meringue are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack before serving.
Ingredients for Meringue:
- 3 egg whites, room temperature
- ¼ tsp. crème of tartar
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- 6 tablespoons sugar
Directions for making Meringue:
In a mixing bowl, whip together the egg whites, cream of tartar, and vanilla. When the whites begin to form soft peaks (a peak is made from turning the mixer off and lifting it up – the beaters will lift a little of the whites up and it will look like mountain peaks). Keep whipping the egg whites while gradually adding the sugar. Whip until stiff peaks form. Cover the ingredients of the pie to the very edges – thus “sealing” it (meaning that the meringue has fully covered the hot filling, will stick to the crust edge, and will not shrink).
Other delicious pie recipes:
The best banana cream pie ever – no kidding
Orange meringue pie – wonderful, simply wonderful
Peanut butter pie -- this is covered with meringue and is truly amazing
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