Shoo-fly pie is one of those extremely interesting pies that’s really nothing more than sugar. It’s a goo-pie, really. Made with sticky molasses & sugar. And a little flour, and baking soda. But mostly sugar.
Obviously, it’s one of my favorite things.
So back when Jay surprised me with a new cook book, I was pleased to find out that it was this one!
It’s filled with amazing pies & cakes & cookies & Amish stories. The first thing I wanted to make was the shoo-fly pie.
However, truth be told, I was hesitant to try to make a shoo-fly pie. See, Dutch Haven in Lancaster, PA makes THE BEST shoo-fly pie, ever, and I’ve eaten enough of it to know. Most shoo-fly pies aren’t as sweet as theirs, and that’s what I love about it. It’s a lot to live up to. Trust me, I know this well. Jay & I once went in three times in one day to sample it (they offer everyone who enters a sample!). We bought three to take home. And ate them. In like a week. So yes, I know all too well the high standard of shoo-fly pie.
Also, the last time I made a gooey corn syrup/molasses-y pie it didn’t quite work out. So I was a bit gun shy. But… the last few pies I made came out damn good.
So I bit the bullet and took the plunge- adding my own little twist to the filling to boost the sweetness. And it turned out fantastic!
Pie crust (makes 3 crusts):
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup lard* /vegetable shortening/butter
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup ice cold water
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup unsulphured molasses
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- Pinch of salt
- Make the crust:
- In a large bowl, combine flour & salt. Stir to blend. Add the fat (lard/vegetable shortening/butter) and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
- Add the egg, water & vinegar. Stir with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened. Form the dough into a ball, then divide that into three balls.
- Take one and roll it out to 1/8″ thickness on a floured surface. Fit the dough into a 9″ glass pie pan. Trim the edges to a 1-inch overhang. Fold the dough under and crimp the edges. If not using immediately, form the remaining two balls of dough into disks and place in resealable bags. Freeze for up to two months.
- For the pie:
- Preheat the oven to 350° degrees F. Combine the molasses, flour and egg in a bowl. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot water and stir into the molasses. Pour the filling into the pie crust.
- For the crumb topping:
- Mix together the flour, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Rub the butter into the flour until crumbly; the mixture will be like sand. Sprinkle over the pie filling.
- Bake until the filling is set and the edges of the crust are browned, about 45-50 minutes. Let cool completely or overnight before cutting. Serve with whipped cream, if desired. Store loosely covered at room temperature, for a few days.
* Lard is what is recommended in the Amish baking book. Obviously we don’t all have that on hand, so use what you’re comfortable with: butter or shortening.
I swear it’s easy! The crust is the hardest part, and if you really have to, you can use a frozen store-bought crust.
Now in case you didn’t know, there are two types of shoo-fly pie: wet bottom and dry bottom. Dry bottom is when all of the ingredients are mixed together and the pie has a “dry” consistency. Wet bottom is the most popular kind; a crumbly top and a thick, black-colored “wet” filling. That’s the kind most people have when they go to Amish Country. This pie is that.
See? Wet bottom.
It’s actually a great Easter pie. It comes together very easily & kids love it (hello- all the sugar!). I also highly recommend making your own whipped cream to go with this pie. None of that store-bought crap.
It’s very easy: just put 1/2 cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar & 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a bowl. Using a whisk attachment for your hand mixer, whip it until it’s the right consistency. Ta-da! Whipped cream.
Or you could put all of those ingredients in a jar, close it tightly, and hand it to a kid. Just tell ’em to shake it until it’s thick. Kids love that kinda stuff!
Either way… enjoy!
SOUNDTRACK: The Beatles – “Honey Pie”
Sources & credits: Pyrex “Fireside” pie plate; vintage, Spode “Cowslip” plate; vintage, Arcoroc French-made smoky-clear bowl; vintage. The Amish Cook’s Baking Book by Lovina Eicher with Kevin Williams can be purchased on Amazon.