Amish Pie Recipe
The origin of the name Shoofly pie and Wet-Bottom Shoofly Pie Pie 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.
Shoofly pie seems to be a variation of the older Treacle Tart. Treacle is the British generic name for any syrup made during the refining of sugar cane; i.e., Treacle, Black Treacle, Molasses, Golden Syrup, and Blackstrap are all treacles. During the 17th century, treacle was used chiefly as a cheap from of sweetener. By the late 1700s, refined sugar became affordable to the masses in Britain and overtook treacle as a general sweetener. Molasses was often substituted for treacle in colonial American recipes. Many early cookbooks have Molasses Pie recipes.
Enjoy this traditional Pennsylvania Dutch country treat that has been popular since the 1800’s. We can thank the Amish settlers for the creation of this sweet treat. The Amish usually eat Shoofly pie as a breakfast dish, like coffee cake or donuts. It is also a must to enjoy with a big dollop of whipped cream on your slice of pie.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Prepare pie pastry. Using a floured rolling pin, roll pastry 2 inches larger than an inverted pie plate. Fold pastry into quarter folds and ease into pie plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side; set aside.
In a large bowl, using a pastry blender or two knives, cut shortening or butter into flour, brown sugar, and salt until mixture is crumble and particles are the size of small peas; set aside.
In a large bowl, add baking soda and hot water; stir until baking soda is dissolved. Add molasses (or molasses and corn syrup combination) and egg; beat until well blended. Pour into prepared unbaked pie shell, filling half full (you may not need to use all of the filling - if you overfill the shell, it will overflow during baking). Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1/2 inch from rim of plate.
Gently sprinkle prepared crumb mixture evenly over top of the pie (crumbs will both partly sink and partly float).
Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack before serving. This pie is best served at room temperature.
Makes 8 servings.
* Can substitute 1/2 cup dark molasses and 1/2 cup light or dark corn syrup.
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Sources: Photo from the Dutch Kitchen restaurant in Frackville, PA. and the Yoder’s Deitsch Haus restaurant in Montezuma, GA.