Pie and the Amish are synonymous, but why? Amish cooking and baking is typically scratch-made and simple and what could be simpler than mixing up some flour, eggs, sugar, salt, and shortening for a crust and then filling it with whatever you’ve got on hand? Fruit filling, bread, or even meat can all be packed into a crust and baked. The pie enjoys almost mythical status in Amish culinary history. Whether it be an elderly Amish couple cooking for just themselves or a bustling, line-out-the-door Amish-style restaurant, pie takes the cake.
This is the flavorful pie case at one of my favorite Amish restaurants: Yoder’s in Sarasota. How many flavors can you spot? By the way, in about a month, Yoder’s will be in full “battle” mode as they gear up for their annual Thanksgiving pie push. They’ll move close to 5,000 pies in the days before Thanksgiving. Click here to read an interview with the late Amanda Yoder and her pie philosophy. They really focus on the basics which I think is what makes their pies so popular. Get the crust right, don’t – as Amanda says – kill the flavors with too much spice and you get a perfect pie.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, the next photo is of homemade pie filling for sale from one of my favorite Amish roadside stands in Michigan. Whereas Yoder’s prepares pie for thousands, this is a jar of homemade filling for a couple of pies. I am sure whether it’s the Michigan farmstand or Yoder’s, the pie is equally tasty.
If you are looking for a cherry pie filling recipe similar to what you see above, this is The Amish Cook’s recipe. Perma-flo, by the way, is a thickener that you can find in most bulk food stores.
LOVINA’S HOMEMADE CHERRY PIE FILLING
5 cups sugar
8 cups cherries, pitted
8 cups water
1 1/ 4 cup Perma-flo
In a large bowl, add half of the sugar to the fruit and let stand overnight. The next day, drain the liquid from the fruit into another large bowl and add enough water to have 8 cups. Cook the Perma-flo, the rest of the sugar, and the water together in a large pot for 10 minutes. Add the fruit and cook for another 10 minutes. Add the fruit and cook for another 10 minutes. Put into jars and cold pack for 10 minutes. This can be used for pie or cheesecake.