Vinegar Chess Pie

Last year, I received the ever awesome Hoosier Mama Book of Pie from a coworker. I suspect he wanted to persuade me to bake some pies that he could taste test—mostly because he mentioned of his favorite pie, Vinegar Chess Pie. Hoosier Mama is a local Chicago bakery that makes sweet and savory pies. I’ve tried their Lemon Meringue and Chocolate Cream pies but never the Vinegar Chess Pie, so I was a little unsure about baking it. In fact, I’ve never tasted a Vinegar Chess Pie until now. Let me tell you, I’m a fan. The Vinegar Chess Pie is so easy to make and it tastes so good.

The recipe calls for an All–Butter Pie Dough (yay!) but it’s a tad different than my usual go to from Smitten Kitchen. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet (I’m a creature of habit), but the filling makes for a delicious and unassuming pie.

Hoosier Mama Vinegar Chess Pie
A Vinegar Chess Pie using the Hoosier Mama Pie recipe book.


Dough Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 sticks Unsalted Butter, divided
  • 1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cold Water
  • 2 1/4 cups All–Purpose Flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tbsp Granulated Sugar

Dough Directions

  1. Make the dough: Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Freeze 5 tablespoons (70g) for 20 minutes or overnight; chill the remaining 1 1/8 sticks in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  2. Stir the red wine vinegar into the cold water and set aside.
  3. Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times to combine.
  4. Add the chilled butter and mix for 25 to 30 seconds, until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  5. Add the frozen butter and pulse 15 to 20 times, until the butter is in pea-sized pieces
  6. Add 6 tablespoons of the vinegar water and pulse 6 times. The dough should start to look crumbly. Test the dough by squeezing a small amount in the palm of your hand. If it easily holds together, it is done. If not, add 1/2 tablespoon of the vinegar water and pulse 3 more times. Repeat this process as needed until the dough holds together.
  7. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead together until smooth; dough should never come together in the food processor.
  8. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and roll each into a ball. Flatten the balls slightly and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator until ready to use, at least 20 minutes but preferably overnight.


Pie Ingredients

  • Pie Wash (equal parts whole milk and cream)
  • 1 1/4 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 7 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • Pinch of Kosher Salt
  • 1 tbsp cornmeal
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Paste

Pie Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Place the pie shell on a baking sheet and brush the rim with Pie Wash. Set aside.
  3. Combine the sugar, butter, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.
  4. Cream until light and fluffy, 2–3 minutes.
  5. Add the cornmeal and mix until just combined.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the side and bottom of the bowl after each addition.
  7. Add the vinegar and vanilla paste and mix until just combined. The batter may curdle when the vinegar is added. The finished batter should be slightly lumpy.
  8. Scrape down the side and bottom of the bowl and incorporate any unmixed butter.
  9. Pour the batter into the pie shell and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, rotating 180 degrees every 20 minutes, until a dark golden brown crust forms on top and the filling is set.
  10. Cool for at least 2 hours before serving. The pie will fall a bit as it cools.