Because resources were so scarce during the Great Depression, people found clever tricks to make a little seem like a lot. Some of those tricks bordered on magic, like in this Water Pie, where water is the main ingredient and yet somehow you end up with a pie that’s creamy and sweet and totally indulgent. It uses just a few pantry ingredients but still manages to feel like a special treat.
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
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place pie crust on a baking sheet and pour the 1 1/2 cups water into the pie crust.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Sprinkle evenly over water in the pie crust, but do not stir.
Drizzle vanilla over the pie, then evenly place pats of butter over the top.
Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°F and continue baking for 30 more minutes. Cover crust with foil if browning too quickly.
Pie will be watery but will set up as it cools. Allow to cool to room temperature, then place in fridge to chill before slicing.