Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Shoo-fly pie is a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch molasses pie that gets it's name from the required "shooing away" of flies attracted to the sweet molasses and brown sugar that make up the bulk of this pastry. These pies are sold just about everywhere in southeastern Pennsylvania, including most supermarkets, where you will mostly find a dried out miserable version not worthy of being called Shoo-fly.
Shoo-fly pie is easy to make at home and worth the effort. Like any home made pie, that first still warm from the oven piece is something that can never be duplicated in a store bought version. A real Shoo-fly pie consists of three layers after it comes out of the oven...a dry crumb layer similar to coffee cake, a moist cake-like layer similar to gingerbread, and a gooey bottom layer similar to what you get in a Pecan Pie. The amount of gooey-ness in the pie can vary depending on cooking times and oven temperatures, and you will sometimes hear the term Wet Bottom to distinguish a gooey bottom pie from a typical more cake-like pie. Wet or dry, a home made pie is always best!
Here is a recipe from a 1960's Amish cookbook...
Pennsylvania Dutch Shoo-fly Pie
4 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp spices: salt, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, mace
1/2 cup shortening (no butter)
1 cup molasses- dark
1 cup hot water- and i level tsp. soda dissolved in the hot water
Stir syrup and let cool. Have two 9 inch pie shells ready. pour syrup filling into crusts, dividing portions equally. Sprinkle crumb topping over syrup mixture, dividing topping mixture evenly between the two shells. Leave a little "air" in the center of the pies to allow for expansion and to prevent mixture from boiling over. Bake 1 hour in 350 degree oven.
Serve with coffee...
and if you are feeling ambitious, the same cookbook has this recipe...
Shoo-Fly Pie (Schuuflie Boi)
8 lbs flour
6 tbsp salt
4 lbs shortening
4 qts water
Mix 5 minutes on dough machine adding water gradually
20 lbs barrel syrup
6 1/2 qts boiling water
4 lbs flour
2 tbsp soda
2 tbsp salt
2 lbs shortening
4 lbs brown sugar
8 tbsp cinnamon
Roll sugar fine- mix well, 2 1/4 cups liquid to each pie, 11 oz crumbs to each pie. Bake at 350 degrees until crust turns light brown.
Makes 48 pies.