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Hot Water Pie

Water Pie

  • Author: Bull Garlington
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 Pie 1x


This is essentially a light custard pie made without milk. I would love to go back in time to meet the cook who invented this pie. Imagine having no berries, no fruit–nothing but water and thinking, I can make pies out of this.


  • 9-inch unbaked pie crust
  • 1.5 c. water (lukewarm tapwater is fine)
  • 4 T. all-purpose flour (Lily White for regional accuracy)
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 t. vanilla
  • 5 T. butter, divided


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Pour the water directly into the pie crust.
  • Combine the sugar and the flour in a small bowl. Here’s the weird part: Sprinkle this mixture over the surface of the water–but do not stir!
  • Add the vanilla a few drops at a time around the surface.
  • Carefully place the butter pats evenly around the pie.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce to 375 and bake for another 30 minutes.
  • Very carefully remove the pie to a cool spot. It will be jiggly and watery in the center (cause, you know, it’s a water pie). Let it cool completely, then refrigerate until chilled before serving.


You may find it helpful to build this pie on a baking sheet and then use that to put the pie into the oven — because it’s made out of water.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Southern

Keywords: pie, water, Southern, Depression