Mom’s Vinegar Pie

Vinegar pie is a testament to American ingenuity — it’s an adaptation of lemon meringue which uses very little lemon flavoring, which was important in times past when real citrus was more difficult to get your hands on in the winter months. My mother found it in a Fanny Farmer cook book when she was teaching herself to cook and even though lemon is easily accessible now, it’s an often-requested dish that Ian was a little hesitant to try. He did say, after trying it, that if he hadn’t known it was made from vinegar, he wouldn’t have guessed.

Because everyone has their own crust recipe, and I can’t even decide from pie to pie what kind I’m going to use, this post assumes a pre-baked crust of your choosing, so get on that before you start putting together the filling!



Mom’s Vinegar Pie


  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 c water
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp lemon extract

Combing sugar, eggs, vinegar, cornstarch, and water in double boiler. Cook until thick and smooth, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add butter and lemon extract. Stir well. Put in baked crust and allow to cool before topping with meringue, as follows:


  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • pinch of cream of tartar

In a bowl, with an electric mixer, begin to whip the egg whites. When they begin to get frothy, add a pinch of cream of tartar. When they get to the soft peak stage, go ahead and add the sugar a little at a time, and turn the beater up to medium high. Keep going until they get to stiff peaks. Top the lemon vinegar filling with meringue and bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until the peaks begin to brown.

Fia Marquis

Fia Marquis is a home cook who enjoys gardening, creating recipes, collecting vintage Pyrex, cooking for herself and her husband, and trying to keep up with their toddler and three cats.

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