Depression Era Water Pie

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


Indulge in a slice of history with Depression Era Water Pie, a simple yet comforting dessert that was popular during times of scarcity. This frugal recipe showcases how creativity and necessity can result in a delicious and satisfying treat.

Why Make This Recipe

This Depression Era Water Pie is a testament to making the most of basic pantry staples to create a tasty dessert. With just a few simple ingredients, you can whip up a delightful pie that harkens back to a bygone era and emphasizes resourcefulness in the kitchen.

How to Make Depression Era Water Pie


  • 1 deep dish 9-inch pie crust, unbaked
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons butter, sliced


  1. Preheat the Oven:

    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the unbaked pie crust in a pie dish.
  2. Prepare the Filling:

    • In a medium saucepan, combine the water, flour, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil.
  3. Add Flavorings:

    • Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and sliced butter until the butter is fully melted and incorporated into the mixture.
  4. Assemble the Pie:

    • Pour the filling into the unbaked pie crust, spreading it evenly with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake to Perfection:

    • Place the pie in the preheated oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown.
  6. Cool and Serve:

    • Allow the pie to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving. Serve at room temperature or chilled, as desired.

How to Serve Depression Era Water Pie

Serve slices of this humble pie on their own or with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a delightful contrast of textures and flavors. This pie is best enjoyed as a simple and comforting dessert.

How to Store Depression Era Water Pie

Store any leftover pie slices in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap or placed in an airtight container. Enjoy within 3-4 days for the best taste and texture.

Tips to Make Depression Era Water Pie

  • Ensure the filling is thickened and glossy before pouring it into the pie crust to achieve the right texture.
  • Experiment with different extracts such as almond or lemon for a unique flavor twist.
  • Feel free to sprinkle cinnamon or nutmeg on top of the pie before baking for an extra layer of spice.


For a modern twist, add a sprinkle of sea salt on top of the pie filling before baking to enhance the flavor profile. You can also incorporate a handful of raisins or chopped nuts into the filling for added texture.


  1. Can I use a pre-made pie crust for this recipe?

    • Yes, a store-bought pie crust works well and saves time in preparation.
  2. Is it possible to use margarine instead of butter in this pie?

    • While butter provides a richer flavor, margarine can be substituted in equal amounts.
  3. Can I freeze Depression Era Water Pie for later consumption?

    • Yes, you can freeze the pie, tightly wrapped, for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.

By following this Depression Era Water Pie recipe, you can enjoy a taste of nostalgia while savoring a dessert that celebrates simplicity and ingenuity in the kitchen.

Cranberry and orange bread with simple glaze

Eagle Brand Magic Cookie Bars