Shoofly Pie is a thick and sweet molasses based pie, that originated in the 1880’s as a staple breakfast pastry. If you are a fan of this, check out my German Chocolate Pie too!
Never heard of it? Well, you are not alone. As my grandma used to say, if you ain’t Dutch you ain’t much!! Shoofly Pie was a traditional pie of the Pennsylvania Dutch and the Amish country of Pennsylvania. It was typically served for breakfast with a cup of strong coffee. I imagine they drank it before the sun came up so they could start their day with a jolt.
Surprisingly, this dish is not as popular today as it was back then. Every time I make it, I wonder why. The texture and the amazing flavor of this pie are so unique. You might want to give this one a try!
Shoofly Pie Recipe
So why did they call it Shoofly Pie? Well, my grandma told me that it had to do with the fact that this pie is sticky and sweet. As you can probably imagine, fly’s and other flying insects are generally attracted to such dishes. They used to make pies and let them cool in the window. The shoofly pie had to be watched over a bit more for this reason. Maybe this is where the saying “shoo fly don’t bother me” came from? Who knows:). In any case, if you are thinking about making this pie, there are a few tips I have for you.
Molasses: I recently discovered that my supermarket only sells “true” molasses, but some supermarkets sell “blackstrap” molasses. After a tiny bit of research, I learned that blackstrap molasses will have a more bitter taste to it. Not that it can’t be used, but for baking, I would go with true molasses. Always check the label to make sure it contains only molasses too, there are some shady companies out there that try to pass off their product as molasses but in actuality, its all chemicals and by-products. Also, you can avoid all of the messy sticky clean-up that goes along with measuring molasses by lighting spraying the measuring cup with cooking spray. It keeps the molasses from sticking so much to the sides!
How to Make Shoofly Pie
To make Shoofly Pie, start with a great pie crust. I like to use my Amish Never Fail Pie Crust recipe whenever I can, but you can start with your favorite recipe or just purchase a premade, uncooked crust. Then, in a large bowl, combine the molasses, water, baking soda, and the egg. Whisk to incorporate all of the ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and brown sugar topping. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut the butter into the topping mixture until large crumbs form. Sprinkle generously over the pie, leaving about ¼ cup leftover. Bake the pie for about 15 minutes, then turn and add the remaining topping. Bake for another 30 minutes and then allow to cool. You can use your window sill if you want to, but that isn’t a requirement these days;)
Grandma’s Shoofly Pie
- Amish Never Fail Pie Crust recipe below
- 1 cup molasses
- ¾ cup boiling water
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg beaten
- ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Line a deep dish 9-inch pie dish with the pie crust.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the molasses, water, baking soda, and egg. Pour into the crust.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and brown sugar. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut the butter into the flour until large crumbs form. Sprinkle generously over the pie, leaving about ¼ cup leftover.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to 350°F, rotate the dish, and sprinkle on the remaining topping. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Let cool completely before serving.
Did you make this recipe?
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Photography by The PKP Way.