What Is Water Pie?

With summer days getting hotter and hotter, the idea of a pie literally filled with cool, clear, refreshing water seems more and more appetizing. “Mmm! Taste that complete lack of any discernible flavor!” But, until NASA figures out a way to do that, we’ve still got a way more delicious (if not quite as refreshing) “water pie” available. What’s that? You’ve not heard of a water pie before? Well, allow us to bring you up to speed with everything you’ll need to know about TikTok darling, water pie! 

What is water pie?

All hydration jokes aside, here’s a little water pie history for you: Water pie is a recipe rooted in the Great Depression where the basic idea was to make something delicious out of what little one had on hand. A traditional water pie ingredient list would consist of nothing more than a premade pie crust, sugar, flour, butter, vanilla, and, you guessed it, good ol’ H2O. It experienced a resurgence in popularity during the pandemic lockdown, as many people were looking for cheap baking projects. Making water pie fit the bill perfectly, and many took to social media to show off what they’d done. This led to a whole sub-section of “water pie TikTok” that you can really lose yourself in, so make sure you don’t have dry-cleaning to pick up before diving in. 

What does water pie taste like?

Without a lot of ingredients competing for your tastebuds’ attention, water pie’s flavor profile can be described as “sweet.” The custard filling is gelatinous and translucent, with a texture not unlike the one in chess pie. 

How to make water pie?

After touting how simple the recipe is, you might be thinking that I’m exaggerating, but check out how fool-proof these directions are (and you can trust me…I’m a professional fool)! 

Pour some water in a pie crust, straight from the tap. Sprinkle a mixture of flour and sugar into the water. After that, drizzle in a little vanilla extract. Disperse five generous pats of butter on top. After baking for 30 mins at 400 degrees, cover the crust with foil, and bake for another 30 at 375. Allow it to cool and then refrigerate for a few hours to let the filling set completely. Pretty easy, right? If you need a real recipe check out this one from Southern Living.

Water pie vs. chess pie 

Chess pie is another old-timey recipe that is similar to water pie, with one big difference: Chess pie is made with egg yolks and milk. But, c’mon, who has that kind of money? 

We hope to have perhaps piqued your interest in this oldie-but-goody, and wish you the best on your Depression Era journey!

About the Author

Joe Rumrill

Joe Rumrill is a fictional one-eyed spinach-loving sailor created in 1929 by E.C Se- Wait, no, that's not right... Joe Rumrill is a stand up comedian and writer currently based in Los Angeles. His favorite thing about food is a close tie between the taste and the nutrients one gets from it. His least favorite thing about it is the "gritty, dirt-like quality some food has", but he's most likely referring to the time in third grade he was dared to eat playground sand.

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