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).

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    97 Comments

    1. Dolores

      Amish pies

      I have since moved away, but in the Charlotte/Vermontville Michigan community they have an Amish bakery that has awesome baked goods! From cookies, pies, danishes, breads…you name it! And you can also get soup (seasonal) or a hot breakfast sandwich to order. Everything is of exceptional quality…I miss having an Amish bakery so convenient, but my waistline is better for the distance!

    2. Marti

      Judgmental and closed minded.

      So All Amish pies are alike?

      That’s like saying you’ve had 2 Fords that didn’t run well, so all fords are bad.
      You saw 2 people from California that were arrested for a crime, so all Californians are criminals.
      You know 2 men with blue eyes that are mean, so all blue eyed men are mean.

      I’m so frustrated with the increase of ignorance and judgmentalness in this country.
      We have so much information at our fingertips, yet we don’t use it to inform or educate, just to become opinionated and judgmental.

      1. I don’t believe the complaints were about all Amish baked goods in general, but with the Amish baked goods in areas where the complainers lived.

    3. Joan

      Love Amish pies with raisins
      apple

    4. Chris McDonald

      Not all created equal

      I say this and speak of only my experience in Southeast PA (1hr outside of Lancaster, PA). A lot Amish have shops at the local farmers market.. I was a worker for the municipality that the Farmers Market is in and got close to many of the shops and owners/workers. As we were there as they prepared their shop prior to opening and after closing. Very nice people.

      However, some of the places simply bought pies wholesale and then sold them in their shop (in no way homemade). I always found this kind of shady and lost a lot of respect for some of the shops for this. Additionally, a lot of the shops did this with fruit as they just bought the produce in Philadelphia wholesale, then just sold it at their shop. Again nothing criminal here. But I always found this very dishonest and almost deceitful in a way. Like the article explains. Almost seemed like they looked at English as money that’s was about it. So back to the article. I almost guarantee that’s what’s happening for some of these places. But I sure hope not.

      1. Deborah Rouse

        False "Home-Made" Amish Pies & "Home Grown" Produce

        Oh, that is so untruthful and sad.