Amish Funeral Pie

Funeral pie?!? The Pa Dutch love their pies, but gathering ’round the table is not always for joyous occasions. When a family in the Coal Region suffers the death of a loved one, friends and neighbors often send food to the family so that they can spend their time making final arrangements, comforting each other, and have nourishment to see them through some difficult times.

My Mom often sent this pie, as many PA Dutch, Amish, and Mennonite cooks did, to a grieving family. It is believed that this pie was often chosen because the staples for it were almost always in the pantry and the pie keeps well.  It is a double-crusted raisin filling pie which is pretty sweet — it is thought this pie is deliberately made cloyingly, almost painfully, sweet to allow mourners to forget, if only for a moment, the pain of their grief.

Amish Funeral Pie

Recipe by A Coalcracker in the KitchenCourse: DessertCuisine: Pa. Dutch, Coal RegionDifficulty: Intermediate



A sweet, double-crusted raisin filling pie.


  • 2 cups raisins

  • 2 cups water

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup white sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1 pinch of salt

  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar

  • 3 Tablespoons butter

  • pastry for 9-inch double crust pie


  • Preheat oven to 400°. Line a pie pan with bottom crust.
  • Place raisins and water in saucepan; heat on medium for 5 to 7 minutes to plump raisins.
  • Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and spices in a small bowl and stir together. When raisins are plumped, sprinkle sugar mixture slowly into raisin mixture while stirring. continue to cook until mixture bubbles and thickens.
  • Add the vinegar and butter and cook until butter is melted. Cool until barely warm.
  • Pour cooled raisin filling into pie shell; cover with remaining shell. (or make lattice strips for top). Trim around edge of pan, crimp edges to seal. Cut 3 or 4 slits in top crust to allow steam to escape.
  • Bake 25 – 35 minutes or until golden.
  • Cool and serve.