This old-fashioned shoo-fly pie is made with a molasses filling and a crumbly brown sugar topping. The pie in the photo was made with Southern sorghum syrup, but regular molasses can be used, or use part molasses and part cane syrup or golden syrup.
The name purportedly comes from the fact that flies are attracted to the molasses filling and have to be "shooed" away. The pie is similar to the treacle tart, which is made with golden syrup instead of molasses.
- Pie Crust:
- 1 1/3 cups (6 ounces) flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar (granulated)
- 7 tablespoons butter (ice cold)
- 5 to 7 tablespoons ice water
- 3/4 cup hot water
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup (10 ounces) molasses
- 1 large egg (beaten)
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) flour
- 2/3 cup (5 ounces) brown sugar (light or dark)
- 4 tablespoons butter (cold)
- Dash salt
- Combine 1 1/4 cups of flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and whisk to blend ingredients. Cut the 7 tablespoons of cold butter into small pieces and then work it into the flour mixture with hands, a pastry blender, or food processor until the mixture is crumbly with some small pea-size pieces of butter.
- Blend 4 tablespoons of ice water into the flour mixture and mix with a fork until moistened. Continue adding small amounts of ice water until the dough begins to hold together.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead a few times until the dough comes together. Don't overwork the dough or the pastry will be tough.
- Shape the dough into a flattened disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for about 20 minutes.
- Roll the chilled dough out into a circle about 12 inches in diameter. Fold and fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim the edges and crimp as desired.
- Heat the oven to 400 F (200 C/Gas Mark 6).
- In a bowl, dissolve the baking powder in the boiling water. Stir in molasses. Whisk in the beaten egg.
- In another bowl, combine the 1 cup of flour with the 2/3 cup of brown sugar and a dash of salt. Cut in the 4 tablespoons of butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Pour the molasses filling into the crust.
- Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the molasses mixture.
- Carefully move the pie to the oven and bake at 400° F (200° C/Gas Mark 6) for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350° F (180° C/Gas Mark 4) and continue baking for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until the filling is set. Use a pie shield or homemade foil ring to protect the crust from over-browning after about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Cool on a rack.
- Serve the pie with ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.
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