“Vinegar Pie is a great example of how ingenuity can lead to amazing cuisine. Around the time of the Great Depression, many people didn’t have access to ingredients that we take for granted and had to make due with what they had. This pie a great example of that. Typically, a custard pie like this would use lemon juice to balance the sweetness, but in this case, vinegar is used because it was more readily available.” - Jeff Dailey

Prep time: 30 minutes; pie dough will need to rest in fridge for at least one hour

Cook time: 35 minutes

Yields: 6-8 servings


For the crust

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 6 to 8 tbsp ice water

For the filling

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter (3/4 sticks)**, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sorghum


  1. To make crust: Combine flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine the ingredients then add the butter. Pulse until the butter is about the size of peas, then slowly add the ice water while continuing to pulse the machine. As soon as the dough forms a ball, turn it out onto the counter and lightly knead to bring it together into a disk shape. Wrap with plastic add let the dough chill for at 1 hour.
  2. Once the dough has rested, place onto a lightly floured work bench and roll into a 1/4-inch circle. Line the dough into a 9-inch pie pan and crimp the edges. Keep the dough chilled until ready to use.
  3. To make the filling: Whisk together the eggs, sugar, sorghum and salt until well combined and smooth. Drizzle in the melted butter while whisking constantly. Whisk in the apple cider vinegar.
  4. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Pour filling mixture into the crust and bake for about 35 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the pie is 165F. The filling will rise up and be nicely browned on the top. It will sink back to level as it cools.
  5. Remove pie from oven and cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled from the fridge. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.


Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Jeff Dailey of Proof on Main in the 21c Museum Hotel Louisville