A Truly Amish Experience

People come to Lancaster on vacation for several reasons…we have some fantastic restaurants, lots of shopping, gorgeous country roads you can get lost on….and the Amish. Lancaster County is Amish Country. They are a unique community, with a culture and traditions that are unfathomable to most of us. Because their lifestyle is so different, the Amish become intriguing.

On our property at Plain & Fancy, we are lucky to have a partner that helps us understand the truth’s about the Amish community. The Amish Experience provides tours of the surrounding farmlands, guided tours of the Lancaster County’s only designated “Heritage Site” Amish House and Amish one-room-school, and the spectacular F/X Theater production of “Jacob’s Choice.”

“Jacob’s Choice” follows the emotional journey of an Amish teenager named Jacob as he struggles to choose between two worlds; joining the Amish church, or leaving behind family and community to become a part of the modern world. This compelling story is told in a unique experiential theater setting, sure to draw you in!

Here’s a sneak peek of Jacob’s Choice at The Amish Experience theater at Plain & Fancy Farm.



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Celebrate National Pie Day!

Oatmeal Pie

Oatmeal Pie

We love pie. We won’t deny it. There’s nothing better than a fresh-baked pie, warm from the oven, with a little bit of ice cream and some whipped cream. Yum! When we realized there was a whole day devoted to celebrating pie, well, we had to participate! Our bakery manager and executive chef, Steve, even helped contribute to an article the Lancaster Newspaper wrote about National Pie Day.

Fresh Baked Apple Pie

Fresh Baked Apple Pie

In honor of National Pie Day, we thought we’d tempt your taste buds with some images of our favorite pies. Baked fresh at Miller’s Bakery and served with a smile at both Miller’s and Plain & Fancy, simply put, we love pie.

Wet Bottom Shoofly Pie

Wet Bottom Shoofly Pie

Did you know that just last year, Miller’s Bakery produced 8,000 Shoofly Pies? That’s a LOT of pie!!

Sour Cream Apple Crumb

Sour Cream Apple Crumb

At our Plain & Fancy Farm Restaurant, our Sour Cream Apple Crumb Pie is a part of our Family Style meal! Ask for yours à la mode!

Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie

No matter how you prefer your pie, we’re always happy to serve you at both Miller’s and Plain & Fancy! Happy National Pie Day!

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Happy Holidays – A Recipe for your Family Feast

The holidays are a time for gathering; friends, family and good food are what come to mind for us. From Thanksgiving through New Years, people gather to celebrate the holidays, relying on yearly traditions and time tested recipes to make these celebrations warm and meaningful.

At Plain & Fancy, we love that our Family Style Farm Feast brings people together! We follow the Pennsylvania Dutch tradition of “pass the platter” meals filled with hearty food and good conversation. Our Family Style meal was even featured on an episode of Man V. Food on the Travel Channel as a signature meal that is featured in many holiday traditions!

One of the many wonderful recipes we use for our Family Style Feast is our Sour Cream Apple Crumb Pie. It’s a fantastic dessert to make for the holidays and share with your family and friends. Make it part of your holiday tradition!

Sour Cream Apple Crumb Pie

sour cream apple crumb

Ingredients: (for pie filling)

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups peeled & sliced apples
  • 1 – 9″ pie crust

Ingredients: (for crumb topping)

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup pastry flour & 1 1/4 cup cake flour  OR 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

Directions: (for pie)

Add sour cream, sugar, salt and flour in mixing bowl. Use mixer on low speed and mix for approx 3 minutes.

Add eggs and vanilla and  mix on low speed for approx 3 minutes.

Spread sliced apples in pie crust and pour sour cream mixture over top of apples.

Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for approx 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 40-45 minutes.

Meanwhile, make crumb topping. After pie has been baking for about 35 minutes, spread topping over pie and bake until golden brown.

Directions: (for crumb topping)

Put all ingredients in bowl of a food processor with steel knife. Process in short 2 second bursts until coarse crumbs are formed.

Note: Over processing will cause loss of crumb-like texture.

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We Made the Cover!

As proud members of NTA (National Tour Association), we were thrilled that our very own Plain & Fancy Farm Restaurant was chosen for the cover of the November issue of NTA’s Courier Magazine! Featuring an image taken from the Travel Channel’s “Man V. Food Nation” episode filmed at our restaurant, we are excited to share this great honor with you, our loyal guests!Courier Magazine

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The Icing on the … Raisin Bread!

November is National Raisin Bread month. If you search hard enough, you can find a food that is “celebrated” each and every month of the year. Since raisin bread is something we bake on premise in our Miller’s bakery, it seemed fitting to share the recipe our guests love so much. But it’s not just any raisin bread….it’s Iced Raisin Bread.

Raisin bread is a pretty simple concept, right? Bread with raisins in it…should be pretty simple. Surprisingly, it’s not that easy to find really good, really fresh raisin bread! The raisin bread we bake and serve…it’s that good. Trust me.

We serve our Iced Raisin bread on the Smorgasbord at Miller’s and on our Amish Farm Feast at Plain & Fancy. We also sell it in our gift shops at both restaurants. Here’s our recipe to share with you!

Ingredients :

  • 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 pkg instant dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup softened butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins, plumped in hot water, then drained
  • Cinnamon sugar (1/2 tsp cinnamon & 1/2 cup sugar)

Directions :

Use a mixer equipped with a dough hook.

In a large bowl, mix 1 1/4 cups flour, salt and instant yeast. Add butter and mix for one minute. Gradually add water. Beat 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape bowl and add 3 whole eggs, 1 egg white, 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup sugar. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes.

Stir in about 4 cups flour by hand (just enough to make a soft dough). Dough will be sticky. Add raisins and 3 Tbsp cinnamon sugar at this time. Reserve extra cinnamon sugar for other use.

Knead dough on a generously floured surface for 8-10 minutes. Place in oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil, cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Place in a warm, draft free place to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Divide dough into 2 pieces. Punch down dough and press flat to a 12″ x 8″ rectangle. Fold short ends in and roll up loaf starting on long side. Place seam side down on greased baking sheet. Return to warm place to rise for 1 hour.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. When cool, frost top of loaf with white buttercream icing if desired (you WANT to do this, trust us). Slice and enjoy!!

(Our raisin bread is also fantastic as french toast…again, trust us)

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Shoofly Pie ~ A PA Dutch Original

Ahhhh, shoofly pie. A true PA Dutch original dessert. If you come to Lancaster County, you must try shoofly pie. It’s not hard to find, as most restaurants and bakeries make and serve it year round. Some prefer it warm, with vanilla ice cream. Other’s like it with whipped cream. Wet or dry bottom, how you take your shoofly pie is a matter of personal preference. One constant remains, one bite and you’ll be hooked.

The resourcefulness of the early Mennonite and Amish settlers of Lancaster County is what led to the creation of the Shoofly Pie. This pie is made with what most households considered “staples”. Flour, sugar, molasses, spices; all these ingredients were usually on hand and easy to come by. The origin of the name has long been said to have come about because the sweet, sticky molasses would attract flies to the pies that had been set out to cool. Hence the term “shoo fly”.

Miller’s and Plain & Fancy Farm both serve a delicious wet bottom shoofly pie. We recommend it warm, with whipped cream and vanilla ice cream. Here’s our recipe for Shoofly Pie!

Ingredients : (Wet bottom)

  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

Ingredients : (Crumb topping)

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 – 9″ pie shells, unbaked

Directions :

Heat all ingredients for the “wet bottom” until sugars dissolve completely. Combine all ingredients for crumb topping in a large bowl and work into crumbs using a pastry blender or 2 knives, criss-crossing through the mixture. Pour 1 1/2 cups of wet bottom syrup into each pie shell. Top with crumb topping until level with edge of pie shell.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours. Enjoy!

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Nuts Over Pecan Squares!

Did you know that pecans are the only major tree nut that grows naturally in North America? How about that the first US pecan planting took place in 1772 in Long Island, NY? And that the natural antioxidants in pecans can help contribute to heart health and disease prevention? No? Well neither did I before I started this post!

Pecans are wonderfully versatile. Whether candied, baked in a pie, sprinkled on a salad, topping on yogurt..the list goes on..pecans are the best nut to stock in your cupboard! Miller’s serves a delicious pecan square recipe that we wanted to share!  We serve our Pecan Squares on our Weekend Breakfast Smorgasbord! We’d love to see you for breakfast, but if you can’t make it, we hope you’ll try the recipe at home!

Ingredients (Crust):

  • 4 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups soft butter (2 1/2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water

Ingredients (Filling):

  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 3 3/4 cups pecans, chopped


Put all ingredients for crust, except for water, into a mixing bowl. Mix at low speed until crumbs are formed, then add water and mix until a soft dough is formed. Press dough into a 10″ x 15″ pan forming a slightly higher crust around the edges. Bake the crust in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until it is just starting to lightly brown.

Prepare the filling by placing all ingredients for the filling, except the pecans, in a large pot. Heat over love heat until melted and combined. Stir in the chopped pecans. Carefully pour the hot filling over the baked crust, spreading it evenly as you go.

Bake the filled pan at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until you see the liquid part of the filling bubbling rapidly. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting.

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PA Dutch Chicken Pot Pie

Having not grown up in PA, my idea of chicken pot pie has always been those little “pies” filled with chicken, veggies and gravy. You can get them frozen in a box or homemade from some restaurants. When I moved to Lancaster, a whole new world of chicken pot opened up.

“Bot boi” or “eintopf” is a traditional PA Dutch Pot Pie. Made without the pie crust, it’s more like a stew with homemade noodles, slow cooked chicken and corn, swimming in a delicious chicken broth. Some recipes also use big chunks of potatoes and other vegetables like carrots or celery.

At our Plain & Fancy Farm Restaurant, we make a true PA Dutch Pot Pie, served on both our Family Style Menu as well as an entree option on our Ala Carte Menu. We make it fresh with local ingredients, making it a true “Farm to Table” experience! We thought we’d share the recipe with you to try at home, but we’d love to have you join us for lunch or dinner and try it out!

Pot Pie Dough Ingredients

  • 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 Tbsp shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

Combine all ingredients. Mix well and knead to form a smooth dough. Flour working area to roll pot pie. Roll pot pie to 1/4″ thickness and use table knife to cut into 1 & 1/2″ sqaures. Chill for 15 minutes before using.

Chicken Pot Pie Ingredients

  • 1 – 2 1/2 lb chicken
  • 3 qt water
  • 2 whole carrots, for stock
  • 2 ribs celery, for stock
  • 1 medium onion, unpeeled and split for stock
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 cup celery, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/2 cup onion, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • 3 bouillon cubes (chicken)
  • Pot Pie Dough

Combine chicken, water and vegetables for stock in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil. Then cover and simmer chicken in stock until chicken starts seperating from bone (about 2 hours). Remove chicken from stock, and strain stock to remove vegetables. Discard vegetables. Chill stock overnight so chicken fat will solidify on top of stock. Remove most of chicken fat from top of stock. Pick chicken meat off of bones, discarding skin and any gristle. Reheat chicken stock adding sliced carrots, celery, onion, parsley and bouillon cubes. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Add chicken pieces and bring to a boil. Add pot pie dough pieces and simmer for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!



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Get Canning!

Rows and rows of Ball Jars lined up by color and size are what I remember most vividly about my grandmother’s cellar. Spending hours with my grandfather on the back porch of their Gordon, PA home filling jars to the brim with the “kraut” he had spent weeks preparing to last until the next summer. Canning was just something they did. With produce stands available at every turn, now is the time of year to gather up things like peaches, tomatoes, corn and beets and get canning!

Canning originated back in the 1800’s when a French confectioner and brewer named Nicolas Appert discovered that food cooked inside of a jar did not spoil unless the seals leaked. The first American canning company was founded in 1812 in NYC, with demand for canned goods greatly increasing during war-time. By the 1880s, American women, taking advantage of the lowering cost of sugar and the back-saving wood stove, had launched the annual summer routine of putting up the wealth of orchard fruit, along with garden vegetables and even meats. Thus began the home canning process.






Lancaster County is ripe with Amish farmlands, community markets and backyard gardens. As it nears fall, preserving the surplus of fruits and vegetables for the winter ahead is commonplace. Making salsa and jams, applesauce and pumpkin butter and storing on shelves in the cellar is part of life for many people. For some it’s a hobby, for other’s a necessity. Whichever it may be for you, we think it’s a process you’ll enjoy. So Get Canning!

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Have you been Ferhoodled?

“Kissin’ wears out, Cookin’ don’t”

“Eat yourself full”

“Throw the cow over the fence some hay”

Here in Lancaster County, many people still speak what is commonly referred to as Pennsylvania Dutch or Pennsylvania German. Out of necessity the Pennsylvania Dutch had to invent words that had no German counterparts. Used along with the German word order, many times sentences came out sounding mixed up, tangled or jumbled. This good-naturedly became known as “Ferhoodled English”!

At the AmishView Inn, we’ve taken that quirky saying and turned it into a delicious breakfast served hot and fresh each morning to our guests. We take scrambled eggs, potatoes, baked ham, bell peppers and onions….and then we Ferhoodle them! All of our guests enjoy a full, hot breakfast with their stay….so why NOT enjoy a Ferhoodled!

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