Depression Era Water Pie Recipe

Southern Plate

Depression-era dishes are finding popularity once again as bakers seek out easy, pantry-friendly recipes. Thanks to those who struggled through economic disasters generations before us, there is a plethora of delicious and easy dessert, main dish, side dish, and snack ideas for the trying.

One such dessert may not sound appetizing, but is guaranteed to surprise you with its tastiness! Water Pie is one of those magical recipes that doesn’t seem like it should work. With water as the main ingredient, how could it possibly turn into a pie worth eating?

But, fans describe the taste of the pie as creamy and buttery or that of a warm vanilla cookie. Reviews do seem to be mixed about the success of the pie as some have ended up with a runny “watery” dessert, but the trick is to cook the pie plenty long, allow to cool, and refrigerate until set. So, the ingredients and technique may be simple, but you’ll have to be patient to enjoy this pie at its best!

Check out the recipe below and if you give it a try, let us know!


1 – 9-inch deep dish pie crust, unbaked
1 1/2 cups water
4 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 Tablespoons salted butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place unbaked pie shell on a large baking sheet. Set aside.

Pour water into the pie crust. In a small bowl, stir together flour and sugar. Sprinkle over the water, then drizzle with vanilla. DO NOT STIR! Place slabs of butter on top.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and bake for an additional 30 minutes. If edges begin to get dark, cover gently with aluminum foil.

Pie will be runny when removed from the oven, so don’t panic! Allow to come to room temperature then move to the refrigerator. Chill for at least 2 hours before cutting and serving.  ENJOY!