Water Pie Is the Depression Era Dessert Everyone’s Making These Days

Great Depression Water Pie is a dessert pie that calls for very few  ingredients to make a sweet little pie. All you need is hot water, vanilla, sugar, butter, flour, and a deep-dish pie crust. The hot water pie crust literally couldn’t be easier to make, and it turns out super buttery and delicious. Water pie was created when folks wanted to make dessert, but were low on supplies. The women who lived through the Great Depression were amazingly innovative, and they knew how to make something out of nothing. The pie made a major comeback during the early days of the pandemic, and now there are recipes cropping up all over the Internet. Here’s what you need to make a Water Pie: 



1 9” deep-dish pie crust, unbaked 

1½ cups water 

4 tbsp flour 

1 cup sugar 

2 tsp vanilla extract 

5 tbsp butter 



Preheat the oven to 400° F and set an empty pie crust on a baking sheet.


Pour 1½ cups water into the pie crust.


In a small bowl, stir together flour and sugar and sprinkle it evenly over water in crust. Don’t stir.


Drizzle vanilla over the water in the pie crust.


Place pats of butter on top of that.


Bake at 400º for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 375º and cover the sides of crust, if needed, to prevent burning.


Continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes.


The pie will be watery when you first pull it out of the oven, but it will gel as it cools.


Allow the pie to cool completely and then cover and place it in the refrigerator until chilled before cutting.