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The Unusual Dessert Known As Water Pie

Madeline Hiltz
(Photo Credit: Jainath Ponnala via Unsplash and Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash

In our opinion, nothing finishes off Thanksgiving dinner like a delicious slice of apple or pumpkin pie. However, a recipe for a different kind of Thanksgiving dessert has recently resurfaced on the internet, one dating back to the Great Depression. This year, don’t be surprised if you show up to your loved ones’ homes for Thanksgiving and see a big slice of water pie on the menu for dessert.

example of a water pie

Example of a water pie created by a Reddit user. (Photo Credit: mmkay412 via Reddit)

Water pie is not a nickname for this pastry; it literally describes the main ingredient used to make the delicacy. The filling in water pie is primarily water. Flour, butter, and sugar are also used in the recipe and not much else. If you’re lucky enough to have vanilla extract and a pie crust, those can also be included.

Water pie recipes originated during the Great Depression when families were hard-pressed to make ends meet. The recipe purposely doesn’t include eggs or milk, so it allowed people to enjoy a sweet treat without using up expensive ingredients.

Bread Line during the Great Depression

Unemployed men in a bread line during the Great Depression. (Photo Credit: Bettmann/ Getty Images)

Water pie has managed to stick around after the Great Depression, partially because of its low cost and partially due to its rise on social media. Recently, social media user B. Dylan Hollis went viral for making a water pie recipe on his Tik Tok page. His post currently has 1.7 million likes and over 8,000 comments.

More from us: Great Depression Grub ”“ 5 Makeshift Meals People Made when Food was Scarce

Water pie supposedly has a creamy, buttery taste, similar to that of a custard pie once it has been chilled. Its texture is gelatinous.

We can’t say that you’ll be seeing a water pie at our Thanksgiving dinner this year, but if you’re interested in making one yourself, you can find a recipe here.

It is an excellent alternative if you’re trying to save money or want to give your loved ones a history lesson at the dinner table!