Amish Vanilla Pie
What is Amish vanilla pie?
Amish vanilla pie is a unique and old-fashioned pie. It consists of a layer of gooey brown sugar and vanilla filling, that is similar to a caramel sauce, and gets topped with a thick layer of buttery crumbs.
You might think this pie sounds a bit strange. But trust me, it is quite delicious!
I love it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but it's also great with a cup of coffee or tea.
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It is no secret that Amish women bake lots of pies. At least the majority of them seem to.
And homemade pie from scratch is not hard to make.
It may feel intimidating if you're new to baking pies, and it can be a bit time-consuming. But it is not difficult.
As with anything, practice makes perfect. So the more often you bake pies, the better you'll get at it. This is why Amish women are typically good at making pies because they do it a lot.
There are so many delicious kinds of pie that you can make, and the Amish have recipes for a few unique flavors. But I have never tasted any that I didn't like.
How to Make Vanilla Pie
First, you'll need a 9" unbaked pie crust. So you can either buy one at the supermarket or make your own with my flaky pie crust recipe. I always make my crusts because it's easy, and I'm old-fashioned. 😉 And I usually bake several pies while I'm at it anyway.
You will need to cook the filling for the vanilla pie. And in this recipe, you can use Karo, King syrup, or molasses. (I typically use Karo syrup, but some Amish recipes use molasses. However, molasses will give it a slightly different flavor.)
This is a simple process, and it does not take long to cook the filling. After bringing it to a full rolling boil, set it aside to cool while you prepare the crumb topping.
The sauce will seem thin when it's done cooking, but it gets thickened with baking.
You can make the crumb topping by cutting in the butter with a pastry blender, or you can melt the butter and mix it in.
How to store Vanilla Crumb Pie
Vanilla crumb pie can be stored at room temperature for a couple of days. But if you're keeping it any longer than that, it needs to be refrigerated.
Pies are always the best when eaten within three days. Although, they still taste good for up to a week.
And I don't like to tightly cover pies, because the crust will get soggy quickly when covered tightly. So I loosely cover most of my pies by draping a flour sack tea towel over the top.
You can also place a piece of plastic wrap over the filling of the pie and leave the crust edge uncovered to keep it flaky.
My Amish Home
My mom enjoyed baking, and I have inherited a love for baking as well. And whenever I have some spare time, you'll probably find me in the kitchen baking something.
My Amish mom used to have somewhat of a weekly schedule. She had specific days for laundry day, cleaning day, baking day, etc. And Friday was her baking day.
Every week she made a big batch of homemade bread, pies, cake, etc. There were twelve in our family, so it took a lot of food.
But, a lot of things changed in our home from the time I was a little girl until I became an adult. I was one of the younger ones, and by the time I was an adult, there were only a few kids left at home.
So it was easier for my parents to afford luxuries such as ice cream, etc. Sometimes my mom bought frozen bread dough instead of making it from scratch.
We now had a regular clothes washer instead of a wringer washer. And we had a dryer, although we only used it on rainy days. (I was New Order Amish, and we had electricity.)
So even though it seems like the Amish are stuck in the 1800s, they live in a modern world, and things are constantly changing in Amish communities as well.
The challenge of keeping their simple way of life is becoming increasingly difficult. But you'll still find that most of the women are at home taking care of the children and their husbands. And, of course, baking lots of pies. 🙂
More Amish Pie Recipes
If you enjoy Amish pies, such as this Amish Vanilla Crumb Pie, perhaps you'd like to try more of my Amish pie recipes.
Unique Amish Pies
Amish Wet-bottom Shoofly Pie Recipe
Amish Vanilla Crumb Pie Recipe
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c. Karo, King syrup, or molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1 c. water
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 c. butter, shortening, or lard
9" unbaked pie crust
- In a medium saucepan, mix the brown sugar and flour.1/2 c. brown sugar, 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- Add the molasses, egg, and water. Whisk to combine and cook over medium heat. Bring to a rolling boil.1/2 c. Karo, King syrup, or molasses, 1 large egg, 1 c. water
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Set aside to cool while you prepare the top part.2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.1 c. all-purpose flour, 1/2 c. brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, pinch of salt
- Cut the butter into the mixture and use a pastry blender to make crumbs.1/4 c. butter, shortening, or lard
To make the pie:
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Pour the slightly cooled vanilla mixture into the bottom of a 9" unbaked pie crust, and spread the crumbs over the top.
- Place one of your oven racks just below the middle of the oven, and bake your pie for about 40 - 45 minutes at 375°.
- Cool and enjoy! You can store this pie, loosely covered, at room temperature for up to two days. Refrigerate for up to a week.
Am so glad you shared your recipe, have got all the ingredients (plus some cashew nuts) at hand. Will give this one a try tomorrow. Can let you know the result by, or during, 2023. Happy day!
Oh, my goodness! This looks divine!!! I tell you what, now that our one neighbor sold his 120 acres to another Amish family, we have only Amish neighbors, save one, and we couldn't be more pleased! We did a good turn and offered some phone poles on our property to a neighbor if he thought he could use them, if he would come get them; he was delighted! While here, he noted a 3-storey extension ladder and inquired about buy it. My husband told him, "My roofing days are over," (he's a General Contractor, but he's done with heights!), and sold it to him, as it was old and definitely used, for $20. Well, we purchased 1,300 board feet of raw timber, and were investigating prices and, one day, I told him to run a couple of jars of my homemade jam out to Amos, because I saw him in the field across the road, haying. He happened to ask Amos if he knew anyone with a mill. Amos says, "Iah, I got a mill." Keith asked him if he'd be interested in the work, and he said sure. Well, we'd already checked pricing and was told $2,000 to set up the mill, then fifty cents a board foot. We gave Amos the wood, happy to pay him to do it, as he's a neighbor and I know he's not only got young children, but a developmentally-challenged brother who lives with him. Anyway, Amos swings by to tell Keith the lumber is ready and Keith asks him, "What do we owe you, so we can bring cash when we come to pick it up?" Amos says, "$130 is fair." Um... that's TEN CENTS a board foot. Keith tried to argue, and Amos just put up a hand to silence him and said, that's what neighbors do. He said the ladder had been working wonderfully for his family, he was going to use it for a house raising for this new family, and he was happy to do it.
Sorry, this got long, but locally a lot of our Amish get some flack and I honestly couldn't ask for better neighbors - been trying to pick up a little Deutch (I already speak 4 languages), so I can put the ladies more at ease! Sewed a few long skirts, not to imitate, but just out of respect, so I don't offend, you know?
Anyway, I got THE. GREATEST. PIE. CRUST. TIP. EVER from 93 year old Jeanette Lahmayer! It's brilliant, I have to share!!! Cut 2 pieces of plastic wrap larger than the crust you're going to roll. Take a very slightly damp sponge and wipe the surface on which you're going to roll out your crust. Put down the 1st piece of plastic wrap; the wrap will stick to the counter, which is what you want.
Then, put the ball of dough in the center; top with the 2nd piece of plastic wrap. Roll out the crust to the desired size. Peel back the top piece of plastic wrap. Now, here is the brilliance, for 2 reasons!!! First, no added flour to make your crust tough!!! Second, the CRUST WILL STICK TO THE BOTTOM PLASTIC WRAP WHEN YOU REMOVE IT FROM THE COUNTER/TABLE/ETC!!!!! This means you can position, reposition, etc., as you need to in order to exactly center it in your pan!!! And it won't tear!!! Then, peel off the 2nd piece of plastic wrap. If you have another crust to roll, re-damped the surface, put that first piece of plastic wrap back down and smooth out; repeat. It is SOOOOO simple! I've had trouble with pie crusts for 35 years, either too tough, or too much flour, or, whatever; I got a terrific crust recipe from my mother-in-law with oil and butter, that is flaky and wonderful, but I know I've ruined it from over-flouring my surface, my rolling pin, etc. This ELIMINATES that...and re-positionable?! Plastic wrap, for the win!!! Seriously - I'm 52; BEST. TIP. EVER!!! God bless Jeanette Lahmayer!!!
Anyway, you don't have to publish this, I know it got long. But I love your blog, I have truly enjoyed seeing the world through your lens and through your cooking!!! It's been a calming, and delicious, blessing!!!
I'm glad you're here!
Chrissie, thank you so much for sharing this tip from Jeanette Lahmayer. I’m 68 and have never made peace with pie crusts. (Sadly, the ones you can buy are, to my taste, bad.) I’m going to try this today!!
Your neighborhood sounds awesome.