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Shoofly Pie

Shoofly pie (or shoo-fly pie) is a molasses pie considered traditional among the Pennsylvania Dutch.

The pie may get its name because the sweet molasses odour attracts flies that must be “shooed” away.

The shoofly pie’s origins may come from the treacle tart with the primary difference being the use of molasses rather than golden syrup. A Montgomery Pie is similar to a shoofly pie, except lemon juice is usually added to the bottom layer and buttermilk to the topping. A Chess Pie is also similar, but it is not layered.

Shoofly pie also comes in two different versions – wet bottom and dry bottom. The dry bottom version is baked until fully set and results in a more cake-like consistency throughout. The wet bottom version is set like cake at the top where it has mixed in with the crumbs, but the very bottom is a stickier, gooier custard-like consistency.

Shoofly Pie - wet bottom version
Ingredients
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup thick molasses
  • ¾ cup cold water
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Place pie crust in a shallow 23 pie plate and flute the edges.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, butter, and salt; mix well and reserve 1 cup mixture.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine egg, molasses, and cold water; mix gently and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, mix hot water and baking soda and stir into molasses mixture. Stir molasses mixture into flour mixture and pour into pie shell. Top with reserved flour mixture.
  5. Bake 35 to 40 minutes. Pie will firm up as it cools. Cool completely before cutting.
Notes
Some cooks put chocolate icing on top for a chocolate shoofly pie. Some use spices; some don't. There does seem to be agreement that they are best slightly warmed with a major dab of whipped cream on top.

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