Shoofly Pie (Parade of Pies, Part 6)

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Shoofly Pie

“Shoo fly, don’t bother me!” I have to sing this little song to myself every time I think of shoofly pie. Most people I know are not familiar with shoofly pie, and I don’t even when I first heard of it. Shoofly pie is a cakey molasses pie that seems to come together from nothing.

Last year, I had the sudden urge make this pie to use a bottle of molasses I had had in my cabinet for a while. The recipe is actually a very easy one, but it was hard for me to imagine what it was supposed to  look like or what it would taste like. I used blackstrap molasses, which is one of the strongest tasting varieties. The pie came out looking almost like dark fudge. I loved it, though I don’t know that everyone I shared it with felt the same way – love of molasses is acquired and this kind was particularly bitter. Vanilla ice cream on top helped even it out, but at the time I didn’t think I would make it again.

I wanted to have something different to offer at the pie parade, so I decided to pull this one out again. This time I made it using a lighter molasses. The pie looked completely different and came out fluffy, not too sweet but not too bitter. To my surprise, this shoofly pie was the favorite on the dessert table, even though many of the people who tasted it were not big fans of molasses. I will definitely be making this pie again – it’s too easy and good not to.

Shoofly Pie

From America Cooks

  • 1 pastry dough
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar (or 1/2 cup white sugar + 1 tbsp molasses)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup shortening
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line shortening-greased pie plate with rolled out dough. Crimp edges if desired.
  3. Blend molasses, water and baking soda. It will fizz awesomely.
  4. In another bowl, combine flour, sugar and baking powder. Cut in shortening with knives or a fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  5. Arrange alternate layers of crumbs mixture and molasses mixture in pie plate.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until any visible crumbs have browned.

About this author:  I'm a New Yorker who would rather cook than go out to restaurants. Sometimes I think I may be in the wrong city for that. Then I remember the exotic ingredients I'd be hard-pressed to find if I lived somewhere else. My cooking style is an eclectic range of everyday-American, Italian, middle-eastern, with extensive forays into Japanese cuisine, and some pit-stops into Indian and African cuisines. I love to try my hand at recreating dishes I taste. While I enjoy most anything with a flavor, from high cuisine to instant junk food, I have a soft spot in my belly for home-style cooking no matter the geographic or ethnic origin. Read more from this author...

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