One of my grandmothers was Pennsylvania German. So I have a dash of Lancaster County Cooking in my gene coding.
Today I thought “Shoo-Fly Pie”.
Shoo-Fly Pie is a molasses based pie. I have seen some home cooks now cooking it in a chocolate crust, and well, to me, taste-wise that might work with pecan pies, but would be serious sweet confusion in a Shoo-Fly Pie.
My pie is different because I add a little spice to it – otherwise it is too bland. I am also picky about purchasing a Shoo-Fly Pie, because a lot of the time unless it is a really good baker it is a gelatinous bland blob in a pie plate with crumbs on top.
Now I committed a cardinal sin today and did not watch my pie, so it sort of exploded on top. That however, could be covered up with a piping of unsweetened or lightly honey sweetened whipped cream if I was serving it for company, but I think once I slice it, the only one who will be bothered if it is not perfect is me.
Today another issue I had was I did not feel like rolling out my own crust so I used a graham cracker crust I had in the cupboard to use it up. The flavors will work, but there is nothing better than a traditional homemade flakey pie crust.
Also, use a deep dish pie plate, and if you use a pre-made pie shell, spend the extra money for a deep dish pre-made shell.
1 unbaked deep dish pie shell (9 inches)
1 cup flour (regular flour with no additives, preferably organic)
1 cup brown sugar (dark is best, light will do)
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup hot water
1 cup molasses
First pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl mix together flour and brown sugar. Add dashes of spices referenced above, lightest dash should be allspice. Use a pastry cutter and cut in the butter. Keep on “cutting” until the mixture is fine crumbs and uniform. Take 1/2 cup (dry cup measure) of crumbs and put aside in a little bowl.
In another bowl first dissolve the baking soda in hot water – not boiling, just hot tap water. Add molasses and beat. Beat in the egg. Mix well, it will be flat looking yet sort of fluffy. (Not like meringue where it stands up, just a fluffy-frothy appearance)
Take your ooey gooey wet and pour into the large bowl of crumbs and beat it in.
Pour mixture into pie shell.
Top with the crumbly mixture I told you to put aside in a little bowl. Spread the crumbs evenly over the top by hand but *DO NOT* try to smooth out unless you want your crumbs disappearing like they were swallowed by quick sand.
Place on a baking tray lined with parchment and place *carefully* in oven – the hardest thing about making a Shoo-Fly Pie other than watching it so it doesn’t “explode” is getting it in the oven without sloshing it out of the pie shell.
Bake for about 35 minutes. Cool on a rack a couple of hours before serving. Refrigerate left-overs.
Today I ignored my pie as I was speaking to a friend on the phone. It exploded. I put it back together and I am not thrilled, but if you look at photos of Shoo-Fly pies on the Internet, exploding is common.
If you want to do a sweet crust or a graham cracker or a vanilla wafer crust with this kind of pie, that works. But trust me if you use another recipe, ignore the ones that call for chocolate. It is too wrong a taste, and I say that as a chocolate fanatic – I love chocolate, but not in Shoo-Fly Pie.