Traditional PA Dutch recipes for baking pies

Amish Pie RecipesPies are the quintessential Amish dessert.  Amish bake a wide assortment of delicious pies, including raisin pie, blackberry pie, rhubarb pie, snitz pie, and the best-known of the bunch, shoo-fly pie.  Pies are not just a dessert for Amish, who also eat them as a snack or at times even for breakfast.  Below you’ll find over 20 recipes for some of the most popular Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish pies.

Pie Recipes

 
 
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COCONUT CUSTARD PIE

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 quart milk
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 whole coconut, grated
  • 3 eggs whites, beaten
  • Pie pastry

A recipe for two medium-sized pies.  Beat the egg yolks.  Add sugar and milk to the yolks, and cook all together. Mix cold water with the flour, add to mixture,  and cook until it thickens. Add vanilla and let cool. Mix half of the coconut with the custard filling.  Pour into baked pie shells. Beat the egg whites until stiff and frothy.  Add 3 tablespoons of sugar and spread on top of pies. Sprinkle using the leftover coconut. Brown for about 10 min at 325 degrees. (adapted from Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book of Fine Old Recipes)

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FRIED PIE

The fried pie is a fruit-filled pocket pie popular among Amish.

  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • Stewed fruit

Sift the flour and salt together.  Cut in the shortening and mix together using hands. Add water. Place on a floured surface, and roll out about to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Cut out circles of about 4 inches in diameter using a large cookie cutter. In each circle, place 1 1/2 tablespoons of sweetened mashed fruit (good choices include peaches, dried apricots, snitz, thick apple sauce as well as raspberry or blueberry filling). Moisten the edges with cold water and fold to make semi-circle.  Press the edges together with a fork. Fry in deep fat. (adapted from Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book of Fine Old Recipes)

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MOLASSES PIE

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup baking molasses
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pie pastry

Hand-mix the first 3 ingredients together.  Pinch the mixture until it is very fine. Add the water to the molasses and soda.  Beat this until it becomes foamy and rises. Pour this into a pie pan lined with pastry (deep pan is best).  Take a spoon and mix the crumbs you created in step 1 well into the molasses filling. Bake for half an hour at 325 degrees. (adapted from Pennsylvania Dutch Cook Book of Fine Old Recipes)

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PA DUTCH SOUR CHERRY PIE

  • 1 qt. fresh sour cherries
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup flour
  • pie crust

Mix flour, sugar and pitted cherries in a bowl. Fill the unbaked pie crust with the sour cherries. Place a vented pie crust on top.  Bake for 10 min at 450 degrees. Reduce temp to 375 degrees and bake for another 20 min.

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PUMPKIN PIE

  • 1½ cups mashed cooked pumpkin
  • 1½ cups rich milk
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • pastry for 9″ shell
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ginger
  • ¼ tsp. cloves, powdered
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • 2 tblsp. butter, melted

Place all ingredients in a bowl.  Beat well with a rotary egg beater. Chill and pour into an unbaked pie shell. Bake for 10 min at 450 degrees.  Reduce heat to 325 degrees. When the surface of pie filling turns light brown, test by inserting a knife. If it comes out clean the pie is finished baking.

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RHUBARB PIE

Rhubarb is a tart-tasting stalk plant which is technically considered a vegetable.   Rhubarb is often seen in Amish desserts, such as in pies.  Amish recipes often combine rhubarb with the sweeter strawberry or raspberry.  

  • 3 cups diced rhubarb
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 3 tblsp. flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tblsp. lemon juice
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 9-inch pie shell

Cut rhubarb into small pieces.  Arrange rhubarb piece in an unbaked pie shell. Combine the sugar and flour, add egg yolks and lemon juice. Stir into a smooth paste. Pour this mixture over rhubarb. Cover with meringue made from the egg white. Bake for 10 min at 425 degrees.  Then reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for an additional half-hour.

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RASPBERRY CREAM PIE

After lining a pie plate with pie crust, fill it with red raspberries. Cover with granulated sugar and with an upper crust, but rub the edges of both upper and lower crusts with butter, so they will not stick together. Then when pie is baked make a cream filling with:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • vanilla

Cook this and when cool, add the whites of three stiffly beaten eggs stiffly. Lift the upper crust of the pie and pour in this cream filling. Replace the crust and sift with powdered sugar.

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RASPBERRY & CURRANT PIE

Fill an unbaked pie shell with currants and red raspberries. Sugar generously. Add the top crust and bake for 30 minutes. A very delicious pie.

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GROUND CHERRY PIE

Ground cherries are technically not cherries but rather small yellow-orange colored fruit, similar in size to a tomato, which grow enclosed in a paper-like husk.  Ground cherries can often be found for sale at Amish produce stands.

Line a 9-inch pie tin with unbaked pastry dough. Make the filling with:

  • 2 cups ground cherries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of instant tapioca or 2 scant tbsp. corn starch

Cover with slit pastry top. Bake for 50 min at 425 degrees. (adapted from Plain and Happy Living: Amish Recipes and Remedies by Emma Byler)

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LEMON CUSTARD PIE

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 1½ cups milk
  • 1 pie shell

Mix 2 tablespoons of flour with ½ cup sugar and a pinch of salt. Beat 2 egg yolks. Add the juice and grated rind of 1 lemon. Then add flour and sugar continuing to beat. Stir in 1½ cups milk and lastly fold in 2 egg whites beaten stiff, but not dry. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake for 15 min at 425 degrees. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 15 minutes.

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SHOOFLY PIE

Shoofly pie is practically synonymous with the Amish.  This molasses-based pie with a crumbly surface comes in both the wet-bottom and dry-bottom varieties.

For the crumb part:

  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar

Work the above ingredients together.

For the liquid part:

  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • a little ginger, cinnamon and cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup molasses
  • ¾ cup hot water

Mix well together and add hot water. Into an unbaked pie shell, combine the crumbs and liquid in alternate layers with crumbs on bottom and top. Bake 15 minutes at 450 degrees, then 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

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BLACK WALNUT PIE

  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup black walnuts, chopped
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1¼ cups dark corn syrup

Make crust for 2 pies and line medium size pie plates. Sprinkle the walnuts over the crusts and then mix in the filling. The eggs must be well beaten before adding the sugar gradually. Then fold in flour, corn syrup and 1½ cups of water. Bake for 3 min at 475 degrees.  Reduce to medium temp and bake an additional 30-40 min.

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SNITZ PIE

Snitz or schnitz pie is traditionally eaten in Lancaster County during the fellowship meal following Amish church service.  Its characteristic ingredient is dried apples. 

  • 1 lb. of snitz
  • 1 orange, rind and juice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tblsp. cinnamon
  • prepared pie crust

Cover snitz with water and soak over night. Add orange rind and juice and more water if necessary. Boil until soft, then put through colander and add sugar and cinnamon. Pour into pastry lined shell, dot with butter, cover with top crust or lattice strips. Bake for 10 min at 450 degrees. Reduce to 350 degrees and bake another half-hour.

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APPLE CRUMB PIE

  • 6 tart apples
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • pastry for 9″ shell

Pare apples and cut into thick slices. Mix half the sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle over apples. Put into unbaked pastry shell. Blend the flour, the remaining sugar and the butter and work into small crumbs, with your fingers. Sprinkle the crumbs over the apples. Bake for 10 min at 425 degrees.   Then bake for another 35 min at 350 degrees. Goes well served with cheese.

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APPLE BUTTER PIE

  • ½ cup apple butter
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1½ tblsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups milk
  • Pastry for 9 inch crust and strips for top

Combine apple butter, beaten eggs, sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon and mix well. Add the milk gradually to the mixture and blend well. Pour into unbaked pie shell. Top with “lattice” made from ½ inch wide strips of crust. Bake for 35 min at 350 degrees.

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SUGAR PIE

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 heaping cup brown sugar
  • 1½ tblsp. shortening
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • ½ cup buttermilk or sour cream
  • salt
  • 1 9-inch, unbaked pastry shell

Combine sugar, flour and soda. Cut in the shortening and blend well. Add the liquid and rub into coarse crumbs. Put crumbs loosely into the unbaked pie shell. Bake for 40 min at 375 degrees. This is often eaten at breakfast and tastes great dunked in coffee.

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FUNERAL PIE

This sweet raisin-based pie is known as “funeral pie” as it has been traditionally served at Amish and Mennonite funerals.  It is a pie which keeps well, allowing it to be made a day or two in advance.  

  • 1 cup seeded raisins, washed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • juice of a lemon
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • pinch of salt

Soak raisins 3 hours, mix sugar, flour and egg. Then add seasoning, raisins and liquid. Cook over hot water for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the mixture is cool, empty into pie-dough lined pie plate. Cover pie with narrow strips of dough, criss-crossed and bake until browned.

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SOUR CREAM RAISIN PIE

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup thick sour cream
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 2 cups raisins, ground
  • 1 unbaked pie shell

Combine all ingredients and turn into uncooked pie shell. Bake for 15 min at 450 degrees.  Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake another half-hour.

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COTTAGE CHEESE PIE

  • 1½ cups cottage cheese
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tblsp. flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. lemon rind grated
  • pie crust

Combine cottage cheese, sugar, flour, salt, lemon rind and spices. Add beaten egg yolks and mix thoroughly. Add milk gradually and stir smooth. Fold in beaten egg whites and pour into 9 inch, pastry lined pan. Bake for 60 min at 350 degrees.

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CRUMB PIE

This pie is also known as “Rivel Pie”, after the small lumps or “rivels” characteristic of the pie.

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter and shortening mixed

Mix or “crumb” the above ingredients together with the hands to form small lumps or rivels. Strew the rivels into a prepared pastry shell and bake for half an hour at 400 degrees. Optionally, you may spread 2 tblsps. of molasses over the pie before baking.

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MONTGOMERY PIE

A classic PA Dutch lemon and molasses-based pie. 

For the syrup part:

  • ½ cup molasses
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tblsp. flour
  • ½ lemon, juice and rind

Combine above ingredients and pour into a 9 inch, unbaked pie shell.

For the topping:

  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1½ cups flour

Blend butter and sugar, add egg and beat well. Add milk and the sifted dry ingredients a little at a time. Spread topping over mixture in the pie shell. Bake for 40 min at 350 degrees.

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Amish strawberry-rhubarb pie: live w mcs/flickr
Unless otherwise noted, recipes adapted from Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking.

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