Amish Bakery Owner Daniel Hershberger Explains Fry Pies

For me, it’s hard to pass up a fry pie when I come across Amish selling them. These tasty treats are not only easy to eat (unlike regular pie, no fork, knife or plate are required), they are also single-serving priced to make them an easy impulse buy.

Fried pies in a bakery in Knox County, Ohio. Photo by Mike Sparks

But there were some things I didn’t know about them. In this article in the Wooster Daily Record, Daniel Hershberger, who owns Hershberger’s Farm & Bakery in Holmes County, Ohio, gives more of the story on how these baked treats have grown in popularity – and explains what makes them different from regular pie, besides the shape of course:

The bakery’s Daniel Hershberger explained that Amish fry pies have been around for decades, and have grown in popularity in recent years.

“We’ve been making fry pies for about 15 to 20 years,” Hershberger said. “But here in the last couple of years they have really taken off.”

Hershberger’s Farm & Bakery. Photo by Frank

According to Hershberger, his bakery, which is now closed for the season and reopens Jan. 14, can sell hundreds of the goodies daily, depending on the time of year. Hershberger’s offers 14 different flavors, which should satisfy virtually anyone’s sweet tooth.

“You can get a dozen, each a different flavor,” he said. “I think that’s what makes them unique, too.”

The flavors include apple, cherry, black raspberry, red raspberry, rhubarb-strawberry, peach, peach-apricot, raisin, peach-pineapple, elderberry and grape. They also offer seasonal fruits.

“The crust is different from the normal pie crusts,” Hershberger contends. “It’s more flaky. Fry pies are deep fried, but they don’t taste like it. That’s what makes them different than regular pie crusts. Plus, we don’t add any preservatives, so they are best eaten fresh.”

Hershberger said they sell a lot of their bigger pies around Christmas and Thanksgiving, as families like to have traditional pies with holiday dinners. Fry pies, he notes, are popular as breakfast treats, packed in lunch boxes for snacks, or served with ice cream.

I didn’t stop to think that the crust is different but I guess that would make sense. Hershberger’s seems to me to be the Amish place where I’ve seen more fry pies than anywhere else. Fourteen different flavors sounds about right. Prices vary, but this article cites $2.45 per, with the price dropping the more you buy.

I’ll end by sharing a fry pie I got at a North Carolina Amish auction. Each was individually wrapped in a paper towel with the type of filling hand-written on it:

I believe that here dried apple would be the equivalent of a “snitz” pie filling.

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    6 Comments

    1. Crina

      Amish Fry Pie and Scottish/Romanian baking

      Delighted and curious if there is an alternative to the Amish Fry Pies here in Scotland where we live! Need to do some research! I am an amator baker, but love learning new techniques and experimenting new recipes. I am originally from Transylvania and together with my family we serve the Lord here in Scotland. We are Baptists and until 1989 have been under Communist regime for a long time, but despite hardship our faith was never stronger than in those days.
      I learned to bake from my mother and as food was scarce and had to spend hours queueing for essentials, we had to be very frugal and careful with our cooking, baking, etc. This simplicity was a blessing in disguise, as we learned to be creative with our food preparation. This is what I noticed in the Amish cooking and baking as well: simple but hearthy recipes, passed on from one generation to the next.
      Keep up the good work and may the Lord bless your family and business in 2022!
      Kind regards,
      Crina Mihet

      1. Thanks for your comment Crina, and sharing your story, very interesting. I hope you find some good recipes and enjoy trying out some of the more traditional Amish dishes and treats.

        As for the fry pies, here is one recipe from Kevin Williams, who is expert on all things related to Amish food (I only know how to eat it and decide if I like it!). So I haven’t tried this recipe, but Kevin says it is the one commonly used for Amish church bake sales: https://www.amish365.com/homemade-fried-pies/

        Also since you are from Transylvania originally I wonder if you know what jó étvágyat means 🙂

        1. Crina

          Amish Fry Pie and Scottish/Romanian baking

          Thank you for your reply and the fry pie recipe. I would definitely give it a go. Much appreciated!
          The phrase you quoted is in Hungarian language and it means ‘enjoy your meal'(Transylvania has Hungarian and German communities among the Romanian majority population) and I have the Romanian equivalent: ‘Pofta buna!’which is used before the meal starts.
          Blessings for 2022!

    2. Yoder in Ohio

      I have the curious hankering for a fry-pie right now… I might very well go out & get one at the local grocery store!

      1. Nice to have them so close by! I noticed a similar hankering writing this yesterday but alas, none handy 🙂

    3. Al in Ky

      I’ve eaten quite a few Amish-made fry pies through the years at various places, but the most unforgettable one was about six years ago at the Bath County Produce Auction in Owingsville, Ky. I’m remembering it was on a Monday afternoon and right before the auction started, the auctioneer announced that one of the families (Amish) who regularly brought produce to sell wa serving free lunch to everyone that day in appreciation for everyone who came to the auction to buy produce. The lunch was fry pies, cookies and mint tea (all homemade). The fry pies were “pizza fry pies”, were served warm and had a delicious pizza-type filling. That’s the only place I’ve ever seen (or eaten) a pizza fry pie.