For as long as I have known my husband I have heard about his mother’s Shoo Fly Pie.
For those of us who didn’t grow up in Pennsylvania Dutch country, this usually provokes a response of “What?”
It’s worth knowing about!
I’m told the name comes because the cooling pie, with its base of molasses, was irresistible to flies!
There are both “wet bottom” and “dry bottom” shoo fly pies. This is a wet bottom. Some of the crumbs from the top will sink into the pie, making a somewhat more dense layer on top of the wet bottom. (The bottom of the pie is not actually “wet.”)
9-inch unbaked pie crust
1- 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
6 TB butter, room temperature
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup molasses
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Put pie weights in the pie crust and bake at 400°F for about 15 minutes.
Combine flour, brown sugar, and butter in a large bowl, using a pastry blender or two forks to create a fine crumb. Put aside 1 cup of crumbs to use for topping.
In another bowl, combine boiling water and baking soda. Add molasses and mix well. Add beaten egg and stir to combine.
Add molasses mixture to the remaining flour mixture and stir well.
Pour into pie shell and sprinkle the 1 cup of crumbs evenly over the top.
Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and bake for about 20-25 minutes more. The pie should be puffy and the crumb topping nicely browned. Cool on a rack.
Tips from Jane
— Make sure to beat the egg well and stir it while adding it to the hot water/molasses mix so it doesn’t cook!
— To bake the pie crust you need to weight it so it won’t puff up. I use parchment paper with pie weights. You can also put a smaller aluminum tin in or use dried beans.
— There are both “wet bottom” and “dry bottom” shoo fly pies. I’m told for a dry bottom pie you mix all the ingredients and it’s more the consistency of gingerbread.