My Thoughts About One of My Favorite Places--Northeastern Indiana's Amish Country

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

The Pie Critic: Pumpkin Pie

My husband loves pie!  And he's one of those annoying people (mostly men) who can eat just about whatever he wants without worrying about calories.  (We hate him.)

Used to be he liked just about any pie, but since we moved to Amish Country, he's gotten quite spoiled.  When he can manage it, he loves to get his hands on some pie made by our friend Ruth—but the rest of the time, he haunts the local bakeries, and he's got some definite opinions.  

I finally asked him to put his mouth where his money is, and write a few guest opinions for me!...  So this is the first in a series, I hope...  Remember, it's all in good fun, and your opinion may differ from his, so don't get terribly upset if you disagree!

Our first pumpkin pie is from Das Dutchman Essenhaus Bakery in Middlebury, our new home town.  Gary was able to purchase this one as a half-a-full-size-pie.  It’s nice to have choices.

Gary rates this one 2.5 forks (on a scale of 5).  His reasoning?  “I thought the pie itself was kind of thin—the pie crust wasn’t all the way filled, as if they were stingy with the filling.  As for texture, I prefer the texture of pumpkin pie to have some body, but this was very fluffy or whipped—too much air in it.  The crust was “meh.”  As for the actual taste, it was very good.”

Our second contender is from Country Lane Bakery, south of Route 20 between Shipshe and Middlebury.  This is a small Amish-run bakery that we visit often.  One plus here is that he was able to purchase a small-size pie instead of the full-size, so as you can see, the quarter-slice looks smaller on the plate.  Also, they offer two types—traditional pumpkin pie and pumpkin cream pie.  This is a review of the traditional.

Gary rates this one 4 forks.  “The consistency of the filling was very good—not fluffy or whipped.  The filling had settled a bit, but still filled the crust as it should.  The taste was good, but I took away ½ a fork because I thought it could use more pumpkin spices—it was a bit bland.  The crust was not as flaky as the ideal pie, so ½ a fork subtracted for that.” 

The third pie was from Blue Gate Bakery in downtown Shipshe.  Although it’s not our favorite restaurant these days like it used to be, the bakery still is top-notch, and we sometimes go there for pie and coffee.  Expectations were high for this one, since Blue Gate is the champion for the “Fresh Fruit Pie Trifecta”—a topic for another post, next summer!

Gary rates this one 3.5 forks.  He says, “Appearance is good; crust is topped off with filling.  The texture of the filling, however, is too fluffy or foamy and not heavy as I prefer.  The taste is bland—not enough pumpkin spices.  The crust is traditional and very good.”

Last up?  A pie from Rise N Roll Bakery, on Route 20 between Shipshe and Middlebury.  (I’ve written about this place before, here.)

Gary gave this one 4.5 forks.  The report:  “The crust on this one was topped off with filling; you could tell it settled as it cooled, but that’s a given.  The crust was traditional (very good).  The texture was good—solid, not fluffy.  The taste was nice—just the right amount of pumpkin spices—not bland like some.”

So the votes are in, and Rise N Roll is our winner when it comes to pumpkin pie! 

Gary says that, like a crabby professor, he doesn’t give anyone an A…  That’s because a 5-fork pumpkin pie would have to be as good as his mother’s pumpkin pie, and that will never happen!  <3