Since I'm on a Pennsylvania-food-kick...it's time for a lesson in Shoofly pie recipe. Lilly and I made two of them last week -- they were PERFECT. They are one of those things that just taste like home...
Growing up in Iowa, I never heard of Shoofly Pie. But it is one of my "MUST EAT" items whenever we visit John's family in Pennsylvania.
Here's what the internet has to say about Shoofly Pie:
Visit the Lancaster area of
Pennsylvania and indulge in a Pennsylvania Dutch original, the Shoofly
Pie. Also know as Shoo-Fly Pie, and Shoo Fly Pie.
First time visitors to
the area always comment on this pie and its strange name. Most of the
area restaurants and bakeries sell this favorite pie. The pie is
more like a coffee cake, with a gooey molasses bottom.Pennsylvania Dutch cooking is
indigenous to those areas of southeastern Pennsylvania that were settled by
the Mennonites and Amish. William Penn (1644-1718), founder of Pennsylvania,
was seeking colonists for the Pennsylvania area. The Amish and
Mennonites both settled in Pennsylvania as part of William Penn's "holy
experiment" of religious tolerance. The first sizeable group arrived in America around 1730 and
settled near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
These settlers were addicted to pies of
all types and they ate them at any time of day. The most famous of their
pies is the shoofly pie. As the very earliest settlers came to North America
by boat, they brought with them the staples of their diet - long-lasting
nonperishable that would survive a long boat trip. These staples were
flour, brown sugar, molasses, lard, salt, and spices. Arriving in the new
land during late fall, they had to live pretty much on what they had brought
with them until the next growing season. The women, being master of the art
of "making do," concocted a pie from the limited selection that could be
found in the larder. This resourcefulness led to the creation of shoofly
origin of the name has been debated for years and will probably never ultimately be
solved. The most logical explanation is related to the fact that during the early years of
our country, all baking was done in big outdoor ovens. The fact that pools of sweet,
sticky molasses sometimes formed on the surface of the pie while it was cooling,
invariably attracting flies, show how such a pie could come to be called shoofly pie.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Unbaked Pastry for 10-inch one crust pie
3 tablespoon butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup hot water
1 cup dark molasses
Mix: 1/4 cup boiling water with 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, then stir into wet mixture
Dry: In a large bowl, using a pastry blender, cut shortening or butter into flour, brown sugar, and salt until mixture is the size of small peas; set aside. (reserve 1/2 cup for topping)
Wet: In a large bowl, mix molasses and egg and 3/4 cup hot water. In a small bowl, mix 1/4 c. water with baking soda. Combine all wet ingredients and whisk until soda quits foaming.
Gently stir wet into the dry. Pour mixture into unbaked pie crust, sprinkle reserved crumbs on top.
Bake 10 minutes and then reduce oven to 350 degrees F. Bake an additional 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.