Chris Shepherd's Vinegar Pie

Chris Shepherd's Vinegar Pie
Michael Harlan Turkell

Recipe by Chris Shepherd of Underbelly in Houston, Texas, and featured in Michael Harlan Turkell's Acid Trip. 


For the Crust:

  • 11 tablespoons (155 g) butter
  • â…“ cup (75 ml) sugar‍
  • 1 large egg‍
  • 1 teaspoon (260 g) vanilla extract‍
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour‍
  • ½ teaspoon SALT

For the Filling:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups (400 g) sugar‍
  • 5 tablespoons (38 g) cornstarch‍
  • ÂĽ teaspoon salt‍
  • Juice of ½ lemon‍
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) vinegar of your choice, use a neutral-toned one, so it doesn’t color the custard
  • 2 cups (480 ml) water‍
  • 2 tablespoons butter‍
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or use extract if needed


  1. Put the eggs and sugar in a large saucepan and whisk together. Add the cornstarch and salt and whisk until smooth. Mix in the lemon juice, vinegar, and water, and place over medium heat, whisking constantly so it does not burn, and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 full minute, then remove from the heat and add the butter and vanilla. Pour into the baked tart shell and place plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pie. Chill overnight before serving.

From Acid Trip by Michael Harlan Turkell, published by Abrams Books c 2017.

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