My Grandma Lydia made 3-4 shoofly pies every week. She specialized in the “wet-bottom” variety. (Some people prefer a drier, more coffee-cake like version, but not our family!)
My Grandma and my Mother taught me how to make Shoofly Pie, so I wanted to be sure my daughter knew how to make it as well. In this post I’ll share her first shoofly-pie-making experience.
It begins with a perfect pie crust.
…rolled out into a circle, ready to place into pie plate as the shell for future shoofly-deliciousness.
Shoofly Pie is made from simple ingredients. Some say this pie’s name comes from the fact that its sticky, sweet molasses base attracted flies as it cooled. Others say the name originates from an early recipe which called for a brand of molasses called “Shoofly”. Although there are variations in the stories of the pie’s history, one fact is not up for dispute: it is the most famous pie is in Amish Country.
Most shoofly pie bakers I know use either Golden Barrel or King Syrup in their family recipe.
After your crust is ready, combine the wet ingredients with baking soda and some brown sugar.
Make sure to add the beaten egg slowly, and whisk well to keep the mixture smooth.
Next, flour, brown sugar and shortening are combined to make the crumb topping. Traditional pies use lard, our family uses Spectrum’s organic, non-hydrogenated shortening, purchased from our local grocery store.
Your wet and dry ingredients are now ready for the next step.
After the crumbs are made, it’s time to place half of them into the wet ingredients and gently mix them together.
This mixture is then poured into your unbaked, prepared pie shell, and then there’s only one more step before baking:
…gently spread the remaining crumbs on top of the wet mixture.
Your Shoofly Pie is ready for the oven!
After it is baked, cool for at least 30 minutes, and then enjoy! We like it best served with milk or coffee.
Here’s my Grandma Lydia’s recipe
Lydia’s Shoofly Pie
(Makes 2, 8 inch pies.) Use your favorite pie crust recipe, and have two, eight-inch, unbaked pie crusts ready for the following filling.
2 Cups Boiling Water
1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
1 Cup Molasses
2 Cups Brown Sugar
4 Cups Flour
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 Cup Shortening
Preheat oven to 375 F.
In large mixing bowl combine boiling water and baking soda. Add molasses and brown sugar. Mix well. Slowly add beaten egg.
In separate mixing bowl mix flour and brown sugar. Add shortening and cut with pastry cutter until fine crumbs are formed.
Add HALF of the crumb mixture to the wet mixture. Stir gently to mix well, and pour into two, unbaked pie crusts.
Gently place remaining crumbs on top of pies.
Place in oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
Remove from oven and cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
~ Justina Dee
Not So Humble Pie Blog: “The Shoo Fly Pie was created when colonists in the early 18th century found their baking supplies running low late in the winter. The ingredients left in the pantry were usually flour, lard and molasses or refiner’s syrup. Many have presumed that the unusual name of the pie was due to it attracting flies as it cooled near an open window. However, the name “Shoo Fly Pie” did not appear in print until 1926. I agree with John Ayto in his An A-Z of Food and Drink when he states . . . “the fact that it originated as a Pennsylvania Dutch specialty suggests the possibility that shoofly is an alteration of an unidentified German word.” I totally agree with this conclusion because one of those antique recipe pamphlets that Harold Jamieson loaned to me mentioned that the pie had been associated with the name “Schuuflei Boi”.”