Classic Shoofly Pie

Shoo-fly Pie
Shoo-fly Pie. Photo: Diana Rattray
    65 mins
Ratings

This old-fashioned shoo-fly pie is made with a molasses filling and a crumbly brown sugar topping. I used sorghum molasses in the pie pictured, 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.

What You'll Need

  • Pie Crust
  • 1 1/3 cups flour, 6 ounces
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 7 tablespoons cold butter
  • 5 to 7 tablespoons ice water
  • Filling
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup molasses, about 10 ounces
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Topping
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, 5 ounces
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, about 5 ounces
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cold
  • dash salt

How to Make It

Combine 1 1/4 cups of flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and whisk to blend ingredients. Cut the 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 pea-size pieces of butter.

Blend in 4 tablespoons of ice water 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 you have a cohesive dough. Don't overwork the dough, or the pastry will be tough.

Form 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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See Also

Pie Pastry Basics