Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vinegar pie? Oh my!

Sharon Santoni over at My French Country Home posted today about what looks like a fabulicious lemon tart.

This put me in mind of a very unusual dessert I had last summer, vinegar pie. Yes, you heard right. A pie made of vinegar. It sounds like an oxymoron. How can vinegar be associated with something sweet? Isn't vinegar just used on fish & chips and for cleaning, you might say?

We visited Greenfield Village at the Henry Ford museum last summer and ate at the lovely Eagle Tavern. I had no plan to have dessert but the words Vinegar Pie caught my eye. Intrigued, I asked the waiter about it and he explained that it was created out of a sense of necessity. In pioneer days, during harvest season and beyond, when fruits were abundant, so were desserts. However, after a few months of winter and with spring not so close in sight, the fruit supplies would run dry and folks would run out of ingredients for dessert. Some very ingenious person somehow who probably only had vinegar and a few other things left in their cupboard figured out how to make pie out of it!

(This is also how sugar pies were created. Sugar pie is a specialty in Quebec and other parts of the world, and I make it but at Christmas only, as it is too rich to have on a regular basis.)

Back to the vinegar pie, needless to say, I had to order a piece at the Eagle Tavern. I mean, you have to try everything once, right?

To my surprise, it was very good. While you can really taste the vinegar, it has the taste, the tartness and the consistency of a lemon pie and it's quite refreshing.

Who knew?


  1. Sounds very interesting!

    P.S. Where are you in PQ? I grew up on the Rive Sud de Montreal.

  2. Sounds really yummy, I love anything lemon :)

  3. Hi Maureen, I grew up in Montreal, but I have been in Ontario for 25 years now. Still miss it, though!

  4. I believe you, as far as the flavor tasting like lemon. But I think you're a lot braver than I would have been. Not sure I would've ordered it! I use vinegar in my pie crust and it actually makes it taste like it's made with lard! Oh, and one of my fave cakes when I was a kid was crazy cake, and it called for vinegar too...Who knew! Thanks for sharing this with us! Debbie @ Cottage Hann~Me~Downs

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  6. What an interesting story. I would have never thought you could make a pie out vinegar. If it tastes like lemon pie, it sounds yummy! :)