Vinegar Pie

I'd like to say that my love of vinegar pie came from my childhood or my grandmother, but I'd never honestly heard of it until we had this excellent version made with vinegar fermented from Cheerwine at Comfort in Richmond.  It's hillbilly food to be sure - the custard compares well to pot de creme or creme brulee without any of the more expensive or perishable ingredients like heavy cream or egg yolks.  Even the citrus that's so important to lemon curd or key lime pie was once out of reach to most in the Appalachians.

Ginger Vinegar Pie from Origins: A Speaker Series at Artifact Coffee in Baltimore

Ginger Vinegar Pie from Origins: A Speaker Series at Artifact Coffee in Baltimore

So pie is my first answer every time someone asks me what, exactly, one ought to do with a fine vinegar.  The relatively low amount of fat lets the character of the namesake ingredient shine through, meaning that the flavor possibilities are only as limited as the selection of vinegars in your cupboard, and the bite of the vinegar is a pleasant surprise; your brain pops a little as your palate shifts gears, recognizing how good the tang of acetic acid is against flaky dough and sweet egg.  

Vinegar Pie

Crust

.5# butter (225 g)

2 cups pastry flour (300 g)

1 tsp salt (5 g)

.5 tsp baking powder (3 g)

2 tbsp vinegar (30 g)

.5 cup ice water 

Whisk together your dry ingredients in a bowl that's comfortable for your arms.  Rub butter into the drys by hand until all of the flour feels greased up; small hunks of butter should remain.  Add vinegar, then just enough ice water to bring the dough together as you distribute the wet through the dry. You may have a little ice water left over.  Chill and rest your dough.  Roll the dough out to fit a standard 9" pie pan, line pan with dough, chill and rest.  Blind bake with weights.

Custard

1.5 cup sugar (300g)

3 eggs (150g)

1.5 Tablespoons flour (15g)

1.75 cups vinegar - of your choosing! Sarah loves to use our Bitter Lemon or Ginger (375g)

1 tsp salt (5g)

Pour warm custard into baked pie crust.  Bake at 350 F until a shake on the pie gives you a tight jiggle.