Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Shoofly Pie

Shoofly Pie
by Carrie Mason 

I am PA Dutch by heritage so I grew up with Shoofly. I did not grow up loving it though. There are two main Shoofly Pie camps, there is the Wet Bottom Camp, and the Dry Bottom Camp. The problem is that both camps, in my very humble opinion, are dead wrong. You need a compromise, a balance, you need a wettish bottom for it be just right. 


Let me explain. A wet bottom Shoofly pie is sweet and gooey and sticky on the bottom, and it has a thin crumb top that is sort of dry. A dry bottom Shoofly pie is cooked longer and the whole inside becomes more cake-like. Where the pie changed for me was when I took one bite of a perfectly perfect half wet bottom pie....the bottom was sort of gooey, not overly sweet and topped with a spicy cake-like layer, and then a nice crumb layer that is similar to coffee cake. SO GOOD! Now, it is still an acquired taste, so follow the old adage -- if it's too sweet, just serve it with a dollop of whipped cream, or ice cream....oh, and it is best served slightly warm.

Mix for crumbs: (reserving ½ cup for topping)
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon solid shortening
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup molasses (good and thick)
¾ cup boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda

Mix all crumb ingredients.

Combine soda with boiling water, then add molasses. Add the crumb mixture (this will be lumpy). Pour into unbaked pie crust and cover with reserved crumbs. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes or until firm and slightly golden on top.