TikTokers are resurfacing a Great Depression-era recipe for 'water pie'

A Great Depression-era recipe for “water pie” is going viral on TikTok, and it’s almost too weird to be real.

Unfortunately, though, it is. The century-old dessert, made from little more than water, butter and a little bit of flour and sugar, is said to date back to the late 1920s, when home chefs were often low on supplies.

Now, water pie is getting a 2022 reboot thanks to TikTokers like B. Dylan Hollis (@bdylanhollis), who tested the recipe in a now-viral video.

Hollis seemed unimpressed, to say the least. And it makes sense. His finished pie looks bland, watery and gooey in the worst way possible. Compared to our modern standard of desserts, there’s seemingly no way it can stack up.

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That said, some chefs stand by the recipe, claiming it’s surprisingly flavorful for something that is mostly just a bread bowl full of hot water. So, against our best judgment, we decided to test it ourselves.

To see what happened, check out the video above — or keep reading for the full recipe.

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How to make Great Depression-era ‘water pie’

If this recipe has a highlight, it’s the simplicity of the ingredients. Here’s all you’ll need:

  • One 9-inch deep-dish pie crust

  • One deep-dish pie pan

  • 1 1/2 cups of room temperature water

  • 4 tablespoons of flour

  • 1 cup of sugar

  • 5 tablespoons of butter, sliced into small pieces

To start, preheat your oven to 400 degrees and put your pie crust inside the pan.

Next, pour the water directly into the pie crust. Whisk your sugar and flour in a separate bowl, then pour the mixture over the water (don’t stir the dry and wet ingredients together, just spread the flour and sugar evenly over the pie).

Finally, place your butter slices on top of the watery mix, distributing the pieces evenly over the surface area. Place the pie in the oven and cook for 30 minutes.

After that, turn the heat down to 375 degrees and cook for another 30 minutes. When you remove the pie after that, it will still be runny and watery, but it’ll solidify a little as it cools.

And that’s it. This recipe is certainly easy to try, but how easy is it to get down?

As it turns out, it’s really not so bad. We were sort of blown away by how totally fine water pie is. It’s sweet, and if you can get past the mushy texture, it tastes a lot like a normal pie. This stuff can’t compare to our modern pie options, but it’s certainly not as bad as it looks.

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