Beware of Amish-Made Pies?
There is an interesting discussion on the Ag Talk forum about Amish pies. The original post is basically a complaint that pies made by the Amish in the poster’s area of central New York are not very good. An excerpt:
I’ve tried 3 different Amish sources 2 on farms and one at a Amish store. Yesterday daughter brought on from a farmer’s market, also Amish. Every one of them is all filler and mediocre crust. You really have to look to find the advertised fruit.
Pies for sale at a Pennsylvania auction event. Photo by Jerry
Others on the thread comment that that is the case in their experience. One (based in Barry County, Michigan) also notes a lack of fruit in the pies:
I don’t bother to buy anything from their bake stands. I’ve seen 3 cherries to the pie and haven’t looked since then.
Another, based in Wisconsin, has seen a decline in quality over the past two decades:
We have an Amish community around here. When they first came, 20 or so years ago, their pies were heavenly. Lots of real fruit, tasty crispy crusts. I went a lot of years between Amish pies, had some about 2 years ago and they were average, at best. Commercial canned pie filling and the crust had no flavor. I’m all done with Amish pies. Their doughnuts are still pretty good if you can get them fresh and warm.
Some of the complaints suggest that the Amish bakers are bowing to market pressures, and even “taking advantage” of English customers. The Wisconsin commenter: “Mostly it seems that the Amish feel that us English are only around to serve as sources of cash.”
Amish-baked pecan pie
This same commenter does wonder if different communities might be different.
More of the comments on the thread are negative than positive. However, some do come to the defense of the Amish. Here’s a positive reply from someone in Ohio:
You gotta be kidding me. We have a place locally that operates Thurs-Sat with multiple vendors. Fantastic doughnuts, candies, spices, and yes, a baker among others. The food and baked goods are phenomenal.
Another in northeast Iowa ais also pro-Amish pie:
Got a couple different Amish communities in my area. I’ve stopped at one food stand along a highway for a couple years and she always does great work. A whole pie is about $6.50 and a mini pie that’s 4-5″ across (the equivalent of two slices of a regular pie) is $2.25.
This discussion made me recall a post from 2013 entitled “Is Amish Food Really Better?” In my experience, I usually am happy with the Amish-made pies I buy. I am not batting 1.000 on that, of course, and have at times gotten pies which are low on fruit and not home runs, or even doubles.
Two snitz pies and an apple pie. Baked for a Lancaster County Amish church service
Still, on balance I have been satisfied with Amish-made pies and continue to purchase them. My favorite is still the snitz pie, which generally tastes more “natural” to me than pies which have a “gel” quality to their filling, which I believe comes from pectin or gelatin (I’m not a baker, as you might have guessed).
We bought a blueberry pie from a Leraysville, PA Amish stand, and it was awful. We ate a couple of bites and tossed the rest. It definitely tasted like cheap canned blueberry pie filling. We haven’t gone back.
Amish Baked Goods
We have for years purchased Amish baked goods from an Amish Store near New Danville, PA. I have purchased Apple, Peach, Pumpkin, Black Raspberry and Shoe-fly pies. Never had an issue with their pies. Also make great whoopie pies.
I have had several Amish pie’s in Shipshewana , In and Also Whitehall,’NY
and they were excellent. You get what you pay for.
Where do you find the Amish stands in Whitehall. I was there a couple of weeks ago and found one on RT. 12, but only open on Saturday (I was there on a Friday).
I haven’t found any in Whitehall, but Greenwich they set up in the parking lot just past Mcdonalds on the Main St…They also set up in Argyle on the main street corner.. The young lady that sets up in Greenwich, her baked goods are excellent..Her glazed donuts are the best..
Do they have certain days that they are set up?
Nope to Amish pies
We have tried several in Indiana and Ohio. No matter the pie, it has a lot of jello and very little fruit. Sickly sweet since it replaces fruit with sugar. Crust nothing special, either.
Amish Pies are DA Best, ensure it's Amish
I have read several of your comments and am appalled by your negatives reviews. My mother and myself have visited the Amish communities for years and we always look forward to the Amish Pies every trip. Not sure where you are getting them from as in Berlin Ohio they have a big bakery I order from since going there every year for Christmas. Everything they send is homemade as you put it together yourself. Shipshewanee Indiana is the 1st place I had a fried pie, now I am hooked as us my family. We go to Arthur Illinois 2 times a year 1st place we stop is for fried pies. Maybe you all need to ensure the pies are made by the Amis before you bash them. Shame on you all for your negative comments.
Rose I appreciate your enthusiasm for Amish pies, but there is no shame in expressing an opinion about an experience with a product. I don’t think people are beating up on the Amish personally, just their experiences with their baked goods. Which of course can vary in different places, as these comments suggest.
Overall I like Amish-baked pies, though they have not all been fantastic. But, I’ve had a good enough experience that I keep buying:)
I did get some really nice pies in Berlin last year, but I think the baker was technically not an Amish place (Der Bake Oven). Not sure if that’s the one you are referring to.
Rose, if the Amish bakery you are talking about is Hershberger’s in the Berln/Millersburg area, you are blessed to have access to what is probably the queen of Amish baked goods! I’ve enjoyed a lot of Amish goodies in a host of different places, but Hershberger’s outshines them all. That, along with Guggisburg (sp?) cheese just up the road, are two of my favorite stops while in that region.
I live in Michigan. I have bought pies in various Amish communities across the state. I have yet to find taste a good Amish pie or cookies! While visiting the Gladwin area, I would ask one particular family to bake pies for me. Knowing how devoid of fruit their pies usually were, I always provided the fruit to ensure I got pies with the required amount of fruit. I paid full price for my pies and they saved money on fruit! We were both happy. In the area I now live, there are a couple of Amish bakeries I used to patronize. Their pies and cookies were usually days old, and the cookies, stale. I quit buying their goods. They were too expensive for their low quality. Maybe they believed that most Englishers don’t have a discerning palate when it comes for baked goods? Maybe that’s how they liked their baked goods to be done? I don’t know. I’ve yet to meet anyone who has said that Amish baked goods are of decent, let alone top, quality. I am sure there are many Amish bakers who do bake wonderful pies and cookies; I just haven’t met any.
Amish baked goods
Rose, You are lucky to have found a good Amish bakery. You seem to be taking the negative comments regarding Amish baked goods, personally. You shouldn’t. It’s unfortunate that not many Englishers have been lucky to find good Amish goods. Amish bakeries are just like any other bakery…subject to quality or lack of it. I wish that were the case for me. Their pies are not that expensive. I think you should read J.O.B’s comment. It is informative. It is very possible that the baked goods I used to buy at an Amish bakery nearby, were not really Amish!
Nope to Amish pies. This is not a duplicate comment.
We have tried several in Indiana and Ohio. No matter the pie, it has a lot of jello and very little fruit. Sickly sweet since it replaces fruit with sugar. Crust nothing special, either. No, this is not a duplicate comment.
This is the exact comment posted twice.Just curious, how is it not reposted?
As I see it, there are a couple problems here. One is that all Amish are not good cooks, and some are a little lazy and take shortcuts. I say this despite the general belief that Amish girls ALL excell in cooking of all types. Some are good cooks, others are not, just like in the non-Amish communities. In some places, the Amish get a good reputation for doing something, and then some community members may be tempted to “coast” on that reputation and not maintain high standards. I would encourage anyone to patronize bakers who do a good job, Amish or no, and don’t buy from ones who whose work is not up to par. I also encourage you to ask questions before you buy. If someone is a little cagey about telling you how they make their goods, then maybe you should reconsider. Since you can’t see the inside of a pie as it sits on the table, there’s nothing wroung with inquiring about what’s inside. Just my 2 cents worth.
A Good Chuckle
Thanks to you, Forest Hazel, I am smiling!
Isn’t it funny how a lot of us have preconceived ideas about all Amish ladies being great cooks, bakers, and quilt makers?
We have friends in the Lancaster Co area of Pa. and after traveling through their area, spending a day and night with them, (for the first and only time), I was totally astounded.
I had visions of big gardens, home baked bread, dessert, quilts,… but did not see any of the above! Instead, we ate out with them for supper, then went grocery shopping for bread, milk, eggs, bakery goods, etc.
Our breakfast was home-cooked before we left, but my “whole image” & my preconceived ideas about the Amish and how they live, was pretty much wrong.
Kind, interesting, (she was very reserved at first) loving & fun, simple lifestyle…LOVED visiting them, the buggy ride, and BLESSED to call them friends! Wish they lived closer!
I also understand that they are all unique and different just like us “Englishers”…my friend said she never has been a quilter or baker, but worked “out” when her large family of children was growing up. When I asked who took care of them, she said they took care of each other!
Their home was a newer style, spotless and clean, but had most everything that we do including appliances, indoor plumbing, pictures, clocks, calendars,….. but no electricity or cars.
Each community may differ, I know, and NOT ALL are what we think they might be! <3
Great comment Forest, you call it 2 cents’ worth, but I’d say it’s at least worth 2 bucks 🙂
Well said Forest!
Good baked goods in Allen, MI
There is an Amish lady who used to sell baked goods at an antique mall just outside of Allen, MI. I have purchased pies from her on and off, and the crust was always wonderfully flaky and light. They were fruit pies, but I honestly cannot recall the amount of fruit inside (I am assuming it was fine because I would have remembered otherwise). The next time I purchased one she told me that the secret to her flaky crust was to use lard; she was more than happy to discuss this with me. I’ve also purchased cookies of varies types, and they too were excellent. Every purchase was perfectly baked and loaded with nuts and chocolate chips. However, her pies were more than $6.50-maybe a higher price indicates a higher ingredient content?
I’ve also eaten various baked goods in Shipshewana (pies, cookies, cakes, gobs) many times, and their items too are full of ingredients-but again the price reflects that. I agree with Robert-you get what you pay for.
Good points and I think I’ve heard lard being the secret before, Ann. I think $6.50 sounds pretty reasonable, depending on size of course, but especially compared to some supermarket prices.
Love Amish Made Pies
I am in Lancaster County, PA and have purchased pies from numerous Amish bake shops in the area and I have never been disappointed. The pies are very tasty and have plenty of fruit.
.. just perhaps the decline in pie quality has something to do with generational changeover? just like Englishers.
We very seldom eat pies anymore, too many calories. BUT if you put a REAL honest to goodness AMISH snitz pie in front of me, I can devour it in one sitting. When I was a kid in our Lancaster County Amish community, and we would have our after church lunch, my cousin and I would always grab one whole pie for ourselves. And eat it all. Forget about all the other delicious things on the table, just give us the snitz pie. Sadie’s Pies always made delicious snitz pies and every other pie she made was full to the brim and scrumptious. Then she retired. Now my only source of a real authentic snitz pie is history. At least I haven’t found any to replace them. She didn’t make them too often, but when she did, she always called me. I tried a snitz pie at another Amish bakery. Needless to say, I haven’t gone back there again. It was awful. Kinda like eating a runny apple-butter pie. I’ve tried a few Amish half moon snitz pies in Lancaster County and they were a disgrace. Have to go to Big Valley to get good ones.
We are on the same page though I’ve been usually pretty pleased with the ones I’ve eaten from Lancaster County (usually from an Amish church lunch, but occasionally purchased there or elsewhere). I’d like to try a snitz pie from Big Valley.
Eric…inquiring minds want to know…. how you have access to Amish church lunch snitz pies? So you get invited to a church service? After my mother died and dad no longer drove a horse and buggy, I used to take him to the services. Somehow or other most of the ladies in the church community found out that I LOVE snitz pies. When I came to pick up dad after lunch, I always went in the house to help him. He was using a cane at that point of his life. There was almost always a snitz pie waiting for me with my name on it. The ladies were always so kind and accepting of me in my English clothes with my English hair cut.
Somewhere close to Belleville is an Amish roadside stand. They sell the best half moon snitz pies you ever ate. I think they drive the white buggies. The place is not tidy or necessarily clean looking, but their half moon pies are the best. When we get out there, I usually buy all the snitz that they have for sale. Our son and his cousin, who was raised in Belleville, used to drive out there, not to visit family, but just for the half moon pies. They would come home on a sugar high from all the half moon pies they ate. LOL
That’s right Lydia, I go when I get invited while staying with Amish friends. I’ve probably been to Amish church at least 6-8 times in Lancaster County, so have developed a fondness for snitz pie:) Really nice story that the ladies had a pie with your name on it. Thanks for this tip on the Belleville stand and the half moon pies. Your and other comments here now really have me itching to go on a pie expedition:)
Nix to the Amish pies in Geauga Co
I’ve had nothing but bad experiences with Amish made pies from Middlefield and Mespo too.
I used to be part of a CSA from Geauga Co that had add-on bakery and the bakery was awful..nasty even.
They use a form of cornstarch generally either Clear Jel or Thermflo. It’s ok if you only use a little but it’s been my experience it constitutes most of the pie filling. Yeck! I use it in a few of my canned goods but use it lightly.
Saying that, you CAN get good pies at Mary Yoders Restaurant..they’re excellent, but arent truly “Amish”.
I’m afraid I agree with whomever wrote the article. I’m the best pie maker I know.
Interesting to hear about the Geauga experience. Your last line hints to this: I think what we all are seeking is that homemade taste but from a commercial source…hard to find, but based on some comments I think it’s out there, or we can at least get close.
I’m very careful on buying anything that is “Amish made”. To frequently no Amish hands have been any where near it. Constantly seeing “Amish recipes” as well. Yes beware y’all.
I have stopped at the amish homes in marathon ny and bought “goodies” from the amish. I bought a strawberry rhubarb pie just a few weeks ago and was disappointed. To begin with I shouldn’t have bought it due to it sitting out on the porch railing in the hot sun along with other baked goods. But Im kinda bashful and felt bad about leaving without buying once I got on the porch. The crust was not fresh and flaky and as stated by others it had like a jell inside… No fruit at all. I think it was $6. I also bought a loaf of banana bread that had no taste. This was the first and last time I will buy there. Another time I was at a horse auction in Cobleskille Ny that the Amish run and I bought a creme filled donut that sent me to the ladies room for a half an hour. I had already bought a dozen to take home but didn’t dare to eat another after the first one.
It is definitely not what it use to be a few years ago.
Two things caught my eye in your comment – I relate to always wanting to buy -something- if I make the trip down the lane and up to the porch, so I hear you. And, good point about the conditions the baked goods are kept in. In places like Ethridge, TN and its related community in Randolph, MS, they tend to make use of coolers given the warmer climates there. Maybe in NY that is not so much the case.
While not Amish, if you are ever near Stuarts Draft, Va, there is a really good Mennonite Bakery in the small downtown. It’s called Miller’s Bake Shoppe. They’re open Thurs-Sat. Their Whoopie Pies are especially good. It’s a good thing we live a couple of hours away.
Good to know. Yes this is not a diet-friendly topic is it. While I have cut down my overall sugar intake, I envy the farmer’s physical schedule that allows for the daily eating of pie with no worries for the waistline.
The baking art
A good pie is a work of art and not everyone is an artist.
I suspect the amount and quality of filling in Amish (or so-called “Amish”) pies probably has something to do with whether return customers are ever expected. Selling bad pies at a place like Shipsy you won’t last long. Word gets around.
The filler is invariably corn starch. That will thicken up fruit juice in no time without the flour taste.
My good Amish friend, Ida Schrock, makes the best pies in the world and not just Manchester, WI! She sells her baked goods at three different Camp grounds. The people can’t wait for her to show up on Saturday morning with her donuts, various breads, cookies and yes, pies! She never makes shortcuts with any of her baked goods. She seldom has anything left at the end of her little sojourns to the camps. And, sometimes she sells out completely before even getting to the third. She makes a full range of fruit pies and even makes a top crusted and streusel topped apple pie – both to die for. Her daughters own a small general store and they have some of her baked goods there for sale. I’m going to let her know that some English in other states have had some bad experiences with Amish pies. I know that she’ll get a big kick out of it…mainly because she’s never, ever had a complaint from anyone; not even Amish, let alone English.
Ken Tibbets – Thanks for the tip about Manchester, Wi. I have always gotten great pies and baked goods when I go to Dalton, Wi. Pleasant View Bakery on Kiefer road is very good – They bake everything in wood fired ovens.
Love hearing about places/bakers like your Ida. Let us know if she has any comments back on the topic 🙂
Amish Baked Goods
I’ve always wished we had an Amish community closer to us, simply for their baked goods & produce. There are some Amish down in Homestead, & of course there’s Pinecrest, but those are hours away. When we’ve traveled to hubby’s home state of MD, I’ve NEVER been disappointed in the quality of ANYTHING I’ve bought. I’m in Jupiter, FL, btw.
Adrienne is there possibly an Amish market in the Homestead area? I have not heard of Amish living permanently anywhere outside of the Pinecraft area, but this is not the first time Homestead has been mentioned as regards Amish in Florida, so I’m curious what that might be about. Thanks.
Pies 'mong other things
Rogers, OH has a yesr round auction/flea market place with several Amish stands. The coffee was so-so, the Krapfen (doughnuts) wonderful, the cookies: heavenly. I don’t buy pie – my Linzertorte that I make myself is more than sufficient!! The attitudes of the young women: odd. I spoke our Schwäbisch to them, they understood, and answered in English. I know they understood this sister Dialect to their Pfälzisch, because they gave me what I asked for. An older Lady selling cookies answered in Deitsch. We had a nice chat. My accent is not American; and Deitsch is not holy. I agree with one commentator: unlike the Somerset County, PA Amish, those in Ohio seem to see our Portmonnaie more than uns Menschen! So much for “in the world but not of the world.”
As a language aficionado I always find it so neat when speakers of related languages can communicate to lesser and greater degrees. I speak Polish and experience this with several other groups of speakers: Czech, Slovak, Ukrainian, and to a significantly lesser degree, Russian. And I have to admit I like your name for donuts:) It looks like that is what would be called pączki in Polish.
Many customers don't know
Here in PA a plain person told me that some of the food for sale in the farmers market is not all made by Amish.
Some food was generic and repackaged to give the appearance it was Amish made.
Customers are thinking its local made and grown. But some food is bought in bulk and shipped in from out of state so locals won’t recognize the taste. Then repackaged in clear plain containers.
Some foods are just filler.
Not all Amish do this. But they understand the name Amish and their appearance helps bring in customers.
And the younger generation of Amish seem more ok with this type of business ethics.
They’ll be honest with you if you ask. At least the one’s I know admitted this.
And some of the farms they get food from might be local. But they’re not Amish. And a few are huge multimillion dollar big company farms.
Times are changing. And so are some of the Amish.
Yes I think that is true, at least that seems to be some of the appeal of bulk food places – the generic packaging. And maybe also done with cheeses and things like that.
I hadn’t heard of it in the pies/baked goods realm, though someone on FB suggested Amish re-sell baked goods, along with sharing an inconclusive photo of someone Amish next to some pies in Wal-Mart. But that very well could be someone just buying store baked goods for her own family.
Amish baked goods
J.O.B: Your comment has made me think about the “Amish” baked goods I used to buy at the various Amish bakeries. I had never considered that they might not actually be Amish. However, the various Amish families (not bakeries) I bought baked goods from in the Gladwin area, did not bake good pies either. At least, not to my taste. The only time I got a good pie was when I provided the fruit or other ingredients required for different kinds of pies. They did make a wonderful chocolate cream pie!
One thing I noticed is the consistency of the foods they do make at some of their markets.
It seems they operate like a machine. No matter who is working that day, the same ingredients, amount of ingredients, taste, the result is the same.
Bread. Pancakes. ETc.. I think all who work there are trained and have the discipline to bake/cook the same way.
Englisch restaurants, well, sometimes you can tell the regular cook is on vacation…
We have a community in Farnham, Va and their pies are fantastic. Colonial Point Farm!!
I’ve visited 6 of about 10 communities in VA so far, but not this one yet. Thanks for drawing my attention to it. I’ll be sure not to leave without a pie when I do manage to go:)
Well, I’ve just passed the ten-year mark of interest and exposure to the Amish, so I’m not in the place to compare recent to “back when.”
As to more negative than positive responses in the forum you mention, I wouldn’t take that to mean much more than the obvious fact that on this occasion more spoke to the negative than the positive. Overall it’s in large part a question of any given reader being motivated enough to take the effort to respond. In general I’d think that a negative experience is more of a motivator than a positive one, all things being equal. On the flip side, those with emotional attachment to the topic are more likely to be motivated. Thus, the greater negative reaction in the unattached forum readers, vs. the overwhelming positive response here (at least that’s what appeared to be the case from my very quick scan above).
My own experience has seen mixed results. Bottom line is that in whatever group of people, homemade beats store bought to the degree that the one making the homemade really knows what she’s doing. The real difference seems to be that there are just more Amish who have been willing to take the effort to learn and to remain in practice. But I suppose they, like the rest, are tempted by available shortcuts from time to time.
Good points there, Don. And this from your comment I definitely agree with:
“Overall it’s in large part a question of any given reader being motivated enough to take the effort to respond. In general I’d think that a negative experience is more of a motivator than a positive one, all things being equal.”
In Whitehall NY the two places that sell baked goods do it on Saturday One place on Route 12 and the other near RT 4 down the street from the big antique center. Just follow the sign across from the Antique place.
While many Amish road stands sell delicious baked goods, some may cut corners on their pies by using a pie filling (found in all Amish grocery stores) that comes in a 2 pound plastic tube bag. It also comes in Bavarian Cream and different jelled fruit (no real fruit in it).
That filling sounds like what I was getting at in my comment in the post on the gel substance. I like a little of that but not too much.
They’re not wrong...
We have a Mennonite bakery near us and the pies are meh but the homemade noodles, tamales, and angel food cake are the best! They sell these cinnamon twists for 75 cents first thing in the morning and if you get there before Cindy (the owner) does her dad will give you an extra twist plus not charge you for the coffee. But no, can’t recommend the pies.
Pies: Lancaster Co PA
I have tried several spots to buy Amish pies in Lancaster Co PA.They are not good. The crusts are not rolled out but preformed and tasteless like cardboard. The filling is some kind of jelly goo. I thought I was going to get a treat but I got a trick-or-treat every time, I won’t even try one again
As for food handeleing no Amish I see are wearing masks so I question food safely standards. Yes, they are selling masks but they are not wearing them.
For these reasons I nix buying pies from the Amish.
The Amish pie s a culinary myth.
Amish Pies reply
We get to see Amish making there pies from scratch in Ethridge Tennessee but you have to be a early riser they are usually done by 9am. If you are use to store bought pies they are a difference because Amish do use natural sugar not corn syrup and homemade lard not man made canola oil, and all there fruit is hand picked and none processed so yes taste will be different,but so yummy and good
Wide Paint Brushes
Some folks seem to paint with very wide brushes. Knowing I’m unlikely to change anyone’s mind, I still feel compelled to add a couple of points to the discussion.
First, as has been wisely said by someone in the Lancaster area, “If the sign says, “Amish,” it probably isn’t. Many folks are capitalizing on the Amish by claiming the identity. So I suspect many who’ve had “Amish” pies haven’t.
Second, I’ve never had a horrible experience with pies that–as far as I can tell–were actually prepared and sold by the Amish. Remembering, however, that Amish are people, I suspect occasionally mistakes are made. I remember once buying a pecan pie from an allegedly excellent baker (not Amish). She clearly confused the salt and sugar. Mistakes do happen. We didn’t stop buying her pies.
Third, people who are biased against the Amish will consistently find additional reasons not to like them–and their pies. The leaps in logic are amazing. There are several examples of that in the comments here and the social media version of this post has resulted in some “Amish Bashing.”
Fourth, tastes in food are largely personal. While it won’t seem related, I know a family whose kids hate “real” maple syrup–they love the maple-flavored corn syrup stuff. In their minds, Aunt J makes the good stuff.
At a penny each, that’s my four cents worth. Not enough to get you a good Amish Pie but maybe enough to get you to try one.
Worth at least 4 cents Walter. To take just one of your points, you’ve now got me wondering just what a pecan pie made with salt instead of sugar might taste like, if it would be edible, and three, if not, what could be done to salvage it so that it were (perhaps by a liberal application of Aunt Jemima syrup?)
Wide Paint Brushes.
I totally agree.
The Amish I know use lard and too much sugar in their baked goods. Neither considered good nutrition nowadays.
Not at all a vegan, but...
I would agree but when I am reaching for these baked goods I am usually not thinking nutrition…that said I have had some pretty tasty (non-Amish) vegan baked goods lately, including some brownies and I think it was a banana or zucchini bread.
I am usually the opposite of a vegan in my diet choices, but gave them a try for lack of other options and was happily surprised. I don’t know if “vegan” necessarily correlates to “healthy” however…
We as a Family loves Amish Pies we though love filling in our pies and the Amish make there own filling, I had the privilege of talking to a elderly Amish lady in Ethridge Tennessee when I was purchasing frie pies and she gave me a cookbook with passed down recipes from her family and I have sinced canned Apples pie filling using her family recipe and it is absolutely amazing With apple season coming soon I can’t wait to purchase some apples,including apple pies, fry pies,& apple doughnuts
God’s Blessings to all,
Unfortunately, here in Michigan we have encountered the same quality. Truly unfortunate.
Yoder's Baked Goods are Very Yummy!
Pinecraft, in Sarasota, Florida, has a restaurant and bakery. Whatever you buy, whether pies or other baked goods, they are so good. We had an 80th birthday party for my mom on Jan. 1st of this year. I ordered several banana bread loaves and pumpkin bread loaves and you can tell they are home made. My mom is a great pie maker too. She was raised Mennonite (parents were Amish and converted to Mennonite). She makes the best pecan pies. She also makes rhubarb pies, apple crumb pies and others. My Grandma Gingerich, who also was Amish and converted to Mennonite, lived in Pinecraft. She made THE BEST real pumpkin-pumpkin pies! Man I wish I thought to get her recipe. I will have to ask my aunts if they have a copy. I have several pie recipes from my mom. Also, a lot of great cookie recipes too. My Grandma Graber made the best whole wheat rolls. Man o man were they good. She never used a written recipe. I have 2 different recipes from 2 of my aunts who tried to figure out grandma’s recipe.
I guess it depends on where you buy from the Amish. It’s too bad to hear that so many people have had bad baked goods from some of them. The ones who truly bake Amish/Mennonite, are the ones who truly make some really great baked goods!
By the way, I never heard of a Snitz Pie. Does anyone have an Amish recipe for it?
About 30 minutes NE of my city of Muskegon, Michigan lies a small Amish community in the small town of Fremont, Michigan. There is an Amish owned grocery store named Whispering Pines that offers homemade baked goods and a fresh deli. The baked goods are wonderful!! Great selection of fresh breads and pies! Every pie I have bought from them has been full of fruit and great tasting crusts! Every Saturday morning the store is bustling with both Englisch and Amish customers alike. Delicious food and even better prices! I usually try to go every Saturday morning to get a fresh loaf of bread and a delicious pie as well as some great tasting Whoopie Pies!
The Great Pie Controversy!
The Amish people I know have large families, so stretching ingredients is essential. This involves, for example, using one can of crushed pineapple, adding pineapple Jello, and their thickener of choice-Thermaflo-and water, in order to make pineapple pies. The same goes for most of their other pies–they have to stretch the fruit to fill enough pies for a dozen people to get a piece. While I put 4-6 cups of fruit into a small 9-inch pie tin, my Amish friends would make that into several pies! The modified food starch that keeps the filling reliably thick also gives the pies a flavorless taste that I don’t prefer, hence the addition of Jello…but I understand why they use it.
I also notice that the Amish cookies in my area of rural NY are not as sweet as most “English” people are used to. It seems like a contradiction that their pies are filled with highly-sweetened goo, but their cookies are not very sweet. Of course, I very much enjoy consuming these cookies, with coffee, on the front porch, or in a hickory rocker in the living room. The company of good friends makes everything delicious.
Amish bread and doughnuts are both wonderful, worth traveling to purchase and take home. I don’t bake either one of these so I don’t compare mine to theirs.
I avoid purchasing Amish pies in my area of western NY state, but I consider their cookies to be health food because of their lower sugar content.
Also, in these communities where conformity and humility are highly valued-the use of Thermaflo or those tubes of colored pie filling goo that are sold in every Amish food store-is normal. Pies that stand out from that norm would, perhaps, be regarded as showy or prideful. We might find this stifling, but, in the Amish communities, this sameness is regarded as reliable and consistent.
Interesting observation you had about the over-sweet pies and under-sweet cookies. I wonder if this might be because they are often eaten together? It’s been my experience in Amish homes to often have multiple desserts and they all go in the same bowl and kinda get mixed up together. Maybe there is something like that going on in those households.
Each of us have a different opinion on what is good. But I will repeat not all items marked AMISH no matter where you go is true Amish. Even Amish cooks vary from one house to the next.
I’m Amish and eat a LOT of pie both in our kitchen at home, other homes, and after church. I have had very good pies, very bad, and some that were neither here nor there. Pies can vary a lot depending on who makes them but I also notice a difference in what different communities consider “okay” in a pie. I don’t like the clear-jel pies with a tiny bit of fruit and a lot of goo (as one person called it) either but I’ve had to choke it down more times that I’d like to have while on trips and (thankfully less often) at home. On the other hand, I have yet to find a pie anywhere that will match my wife’s sour-cream-pumpkin pie!!
Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie
That is a new one for me. Officially on the pie radar now. Never seen that one in shops and I’d frankly be surprised to find it in one, but I am intrigued.
I wonder which communities are considered to have the highest “pie standards”:)
Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie
Yes, I’d be surprised to find it in shops too. A lot of those REALLY good pies would be too time-consuming to make in a bakery, or so it seems to me. Maybe next time you are in our area we can make sure you get a sample? 😉
Highest-pie standards? Good question. The best pie baker I know of (other than my wife, ha!) lives in Ontario. That woman made the best pies! Her French Rhubarb pie changed my opinion on rhubarb pies.
I have to agree that the quality of their pies has diminished. I live in Virginia near a famous Amish-Mennonite store. My neighbor actually had a nice talk with the owner and told him she wouldn’t mind paying a little more for some fruit in the pies. He actually told her that they cater to the tourist’s standards. She told him that that is not God’s standards. Good for her. Though, nothing has changed. In Bird-in-Hand, I asked one of the bakers why they use so much soy flour. She said it just makes everything better. No, I thought, I think it’s just a cheaper ingredient. It’s probably been at least 15 years since we started noticing it. I am in my 60’s and since I was a little girl, looked forward to bringing Amish goodies home. I’m not trying to bash the Amish. I love the Amish people! I just find it so, so sad that some of them sell such low quality. I think it’s deceitful, really. I’m a baker, and I actually like my baked goods better than those we would bring home from Lancaster. I hope they realize what they’re doing and return to the old ways.
Amish and Mennonite Pie Recipes
So I know that this discussion has been on Amish And Mennonite pies that you buy, however, if you would like a few recipes that you can make for yourself, I can post some that have been handed down to me. Both of my grandparents and the generations before them were all Amish. My father was Amish as a child, then they “jumped the fence” as my paternal grandfather said, and became Mennonite. I think that my mother’s family may have “jumped the fence” before she was born. I am going to be calling my Aunt in North Dakota for my paternal grandmother’s Real Pumpkin-Pumkin Pie. I remember how deee-licous her pies were. I also have a pecan pie recipe. And although I have never liked the Rhubarb Pies, I can get that one too. I will ask my mom if she or any of her siblings has a recipe for Sour Cream Pumpkin Pie or any others you may want. Just leave a reply and I will get it eventually.
Brenda, I would also like your recipes. Thank you!
Brenda, I would love to have a copy of your recipes. Every recipe is so unique – even with the slightest changes that are different from others.
MIO, MI baker made an excellent apple pie for $8.00
Since we are still discussing Amish pies, I wanted to share a recent experience (9/18/20) that occurred with a baker in Mio, MI, which is in Oscoda County. There is a small thriving Amish community there, including a number of bakers. We stopped at “The Bakery” at 22 N. Camp 10 Rd (W off of M 33), and purchased a Dutch apple pie. The price was $8.00, and it was loaded (and I mean loaded) with big, generous slices of apple. It was well worth the price. She also offered an assortment of breads, rolls, cookies, brownies and pies. I would definitely shop there again. Just wanted to give a heads up to someone who knows how to bake and obviously takes pride in what she sells.
Amish baked goods
Ann Roszi: I shall have to visit that bakery again. I bought some baked goods there a few years ago, and wasn’t too impressed. I’ll give it another try.
Amish/Mennonite Pie Recipes - first 2
I will call my mom for a Rhubarb Pie recipe and my Aunt in ND for the homemade real pumpkin pumpkin pie. I will also add a recipe for pie crust from a conservative Mennonite. I will try to get my mom’s recipe soon but in case you want to go ahead and make the pies I will add it.
Flaky Pie Crust
By Dorothy Martin
(*Note that I have added measurements in parenthesis because I wanted to make the crust a little thicker. I also added the sugar to the recipe because it just makes it taste better.)
2 (3) cups flour
1 (1 1/2) teaspoon salt
* 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
2/3 (1) cup of Crisco (I use Butter Flavored Crisco)
5 (7 1/2) Tablespoons ice water
Mix flour, salt, sugar and crisco ‘til crumbly.
Add ice water. Form into two balls.
Makes 1 double pie or 2 single pie shells.
Spread flour on surface, dough and rolling pin. Roll out to size needed.
Fold dough in half and put in pie pan. Infold and press along bottom and sides as well as the rim. Pinch around the top to give it a fluted look. Sprinkle with sugar on top. For a baked pie shell, prick with fork around bottom and sides. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 475 degrees til light brown. Cool.
Apple Crumb Pie
(Make pie crust)
6 tart apples (You may need more than 6. I actually use the sweeter apples.)
3/4 cup of light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of flour
1/3 cup (5 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon) butter
Pare apples and slice then put into large mixing bowl. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon into the apples, stir well. Put apple mixture into pie shell. In medium size bowl, combine white sugar, flour and butter. Rub together until crumbly. I use a hand held pastry/dough blender to do this. Sprinkle crumbs over apples. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes then 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Use fork to poke apples to seeif thay are done – a little soft but not mushy.
(Make Pie shell)
1 cup dark Karo syrup
3 eggs slightly beaten
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine- melted
1 cup pecans
Mix all ingredients in order given adding pecans last. Pour into pie shell and bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake for for 30-35 minutes. When Pie is done outer edges of filling should be set. Center will be slightly soft. May take 6-10 minutes more time to bake.
Okay so I will try to get some more up soon.
Thank you Brenda
I have the fresh apples to make the Apple Crumb Pie now.
Thank you, Brenda for these detailed recipes. The details can make or break the outcome.
You are welcome
Jeff, you are right the details make the recipe.
best amish pies ever
So I can attest to having great and not so great pies. But, if you are ever near Wilmont Ohio(near Mt.eaton) near the nature center on Alabama road stop at the Amish farm just down the road on the righthand side. They have the best piesand fry pies ever. Along with jams, jellies and chocolates. Very good prices too. We usually stay 4 days and order stuff to pick up on the way back home. Tell them marie from sent you.
best amish pies ever
marie from canada
One more Amish Pie Recipe
Okay, here is another recipe. I still need to call my Aunt in North Dakota for my grandma’s real pumpkin – pumpkin pie.
Rhubarb Pie (Makes 1)
2 cups Rhubarb cut small
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cup (plus) half & half
Put Rhubarb into pie shell. Mix other ingredients in a bowl. Pour over Rhubarb. Add more half & half til pie is full. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50-60 minutes until done – insert knife in center, when it comes out clean it is done.
Thank you, Brenda, I have not had rhubarb pie in years. The red variety of rhubarb is sweeter than the green rhubarb. I remember my dad making it and he also used it in cooking for meals. My grand parents and other relatives all had large gardens -fruit trees and a cellar under the house to store the fruit and veggies. I look forward to making this recipe. I have successfully made pumpkin pie with other squashes.
Get a Grip!
If you want good Italian food don’t eat at a Swedish restaurant. Amish are not noted for apple pie like grandma made.(English)
I have had their berry pies and this is the Amish style of baking. It is what they serve in their home and special occasions.
Stop complaining and go back to your home town bakery. Closed,! Try walmart or McDonald’s. You will be happy I am sure.
Be sure to wear a mask when you eat your store brought pie! Please snitch on others who don’t.
We have a Amish community here in Oswego county I buy a lot of vegetables and baked goods from them but the pies don’t have fruit in them I still like them I think they use there jelly that is left from winter for filling I am very happy with the price of the pies and there vegetables. I believe they are a plus to the community and I am glad they are here they came here from southern Ohio and bought places that were falling down and made them look great again cleaned them up and made a great improvement.
If you want a pie with fruit in it, don’t buy an Amish pie. I used to buy the ingredients and given them to the Amish woman who baked pies, in order to have more than a few bites of fruit filling. I suggest all Englishers do the same. It’s more expensive, but at least you’ll have a pie that tastes more lie pie than like gelatin!
The purpose of pie
Pie, especially pie for breakfast, was at one time the fuel for working on the farm. The best reference I have seen is Maine author John Gould’s book “Farmer Takes a Wife.” It was published around 1946, so it contains material from “real” Maine farming days. One of the stories is this one: A college-educated girl marries a Maine farmer and discovers her job is to cook the items that have been provided in that farmhouse for many decades. That includes pie for breakfast, which is necessary for the morning’s muscular work.
She makes pie all winter, but come early spring she’s run out of stored apples and has nothing with which to make pie. Breakfast is a disaster. “WHAT? NO PIE?”
She invents vinegar pie. Soda crackers, sugar and vinegar for filling. “Enough vinegar to leave ’em puckered up for a week.” There were no more complaints about the lack of pie.
I suspect that Amish pie disasters might possibly stem from memory of similar difficult times. “How do I make pie with no ingredients? Jello!” A tradition is born.