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Water Pie

This easy recipe for Homemade Water Pie shows you how to make a pie with super simple ingredients that taste delicious. This nostalgic dessert is the perfect way to enjoy a homemade pie that’s got a lot of history and is easy to make! 

It may be hard to believe, but the main ingredient in this pie is water! Water pie has a lot of history and is a dessert that is easy to make. But first, let’s talk about where water pie originated from.

Top down view of a slice of water pie.

What is water pie?

During the great depression, food was scarce for many. Water pie allowed people to enjoy a sweet dessert without the expensive ingredients which made it a staple during that time. A pie crust is filled with a mixture of flour, water, sugar, and some seasonings. It then gets topped with sliced butter and baked in the oven until set. 

The result is a filling that has a custard texture with a sweet taste and light warming flavors. This water pie can easily be made from ingredients you already have in your pantry. You can make a homemade butter pie crust or save some time with a store-bought one.

Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for a decadent twist on this classic that’s been brought back to its roots in recent years.

How To Make Homemade Water Pie

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F. Roll out a pie crust onto a 9-inch pie pan and press down evenly. Trim off any excess edges, then crimp with a fork or whatever shape you desire. 
  2. Using a fork, poke several holes at the bottom of the crust to create airflow. Then add a layer of aluminum foil or parchment paper across the top. Add pie weights or dried beans to the middle to weigh it down, then bake for 8-10 minutes. 
  3. Remove the pie crust from the oven, then remove the weights and parchment or foil. Add back to the oven for 2-3 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. 
  4. Into the pie crust, add the water, sugar, and flour. Gently stir the mixture until there are no dry flour spots on the top of the pie. Then, add the cinnamon, vanilla, and salt, and stir to combine. 
  5. Once the mixture is fully combined, evenly distribute the sliced butter on top without mixing it in. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the center of the pie is set but slightly jiggly. 
  6. Let the pie cool for at least 3 hours to give it a chance to set properly. Once cooled, slice and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
Collage showing how to make water pie.

Water Pie Recipe Tips

  1. It’s important to make sure you don’t skip par baking the pie crust. This will ensure that the crust is not soggy on the bottom as the filling won’t seep through. 
  2. For best results, make sure the water you use in the filling is warm instead of cold. This will allow it to blend in with the flour properly. 
  3. Although it may look a little strange, the butter gets placed on top of the filling and not inside it. This helps give the pie a rich buttery flavor that doubles as a topping. 
  4. When the pie is finished, it should have a slight jiggle in the middle but not be too watery. If it moves too much, it may need a few more minutes to cook.
  5. Cooling this pie properly is very important as it needs to be set in order to be cut into individual slices. 


  • Change up the flavor by using a different extract inside the pie. Maple, almond, or your favorite fruit extract can give the pie a unique flavor when replacing the vanilla. 
  • Give it a warming fall flavor by using some homemade pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon in this recipe. 
  • Add some cocoa powder into the pie mixture for a hint of chocolate flavor in every bite. 
  • You can add your favorite toppings to the pie including dried nuts, marshmallows, fruit, or even cookie crumbles. 
Freshly baked water pie in a dish.

Can I mix the filling outside of the pie crust?

Yes, you can mix the filling in a bowl, then transfer it into the pie crust if you prefer. Just make sure the butter is added on top separately.

Storing and Freezing

Refrigerator: Water pie can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Freezing: Since this is a custard base pie when frozen it will separate after thawing. Therefore freezing is not recommended.

Water pie with a scoop of ice cream.

Water Pie

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Cool Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours
Servings: 1 (9-inch) Pie


  • 1 9-inch pre-made pie crust
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 6-8 slices


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. 
  • Roll out the pie crust, and press it into the pie dish. Trim off the excess from around the edges then crimp the edges into whatever design you prefer.
  • Poke several holes in the bottom of the pie crust using a fork then place a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil on top along with some baking beans or pie weights.
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes then remove the baking beans and foil or parchment paper. Return to the oven for another two to three minutes or until the pie crust is golden brown.
  • Pour in the water, sugar and flour into the baked crust then gently stir the flour until there are no dry spots on top.
  • Add the vanilla, cinnamon and salt and gently stir once again.
  • Gently lay the sliced butter on top of the pie, and bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the center of the pie jiggles only slightly when moved.
  • Let the pie cool for at least three hours before slicing and serving with vanilla ice cream if desired.


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 slice (⅛ of the pie). Actual calories will vary.
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.
*Photos courtesy of Karla Rae Photography.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 324kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 125mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g
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