Thursday, March 22, 2007

Shoo-Fly Pie

For most of this week my place has been totally infested with kids. I love it. My niece and nephew have had the week off from school while both of their parents are at work and they have been spending the days with me. Today my nephew had a couple of his buddies over and my niece had about half of her soccer team. Being a good and doting uncle I pretty much let them have the run of the place. My niece wanted to do some more baking so we went to "The Pie and Pastry Bible" and found this. I was inspired to look for it from the comments left on Shaker Lemon Pie and, sure enough, there was a great looking recipe.

Another thing I've started doing is keeping a canister of pastry flour made up and ready to go. This makes a big difference in the texture and flakiness of the crusts. Trust me, when you're talking about pie crusts, texture and flakiness are the whole game.

Ingredients for Pastry Flour

4 cups bleached all purpose flour
2 1/4 cups cake flour

Make a half recipe of the cream cheese pie crust from the Shaker Lemon Pie for the bottom shell of the pie. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using.

This is also a great time to teach the kids that great old Dinah Shore song.

If you wanna do right by your appetite,
If you're fussy about your food,
Take a choo-choo today, head new england way,
And we'll put you in the happiest mood. with:
Shoo fly pie and apple pan dowdy
Makes your eyes light up,
Your tummy say "howdy."
Shoo fly pie and apple pan dowdy
I never get enough of that wonderful stuff.
Shoo fly pie and apple pan dowdy makes the sun come out
When heavens are cloudy,
Shoo fly pie and apple pan dowdy,
I never get enough of that wonderful stuff!
Mama! when you bake,
Mama! i don't want cake;
Mama! for my sake
Go to the oven and make some ever lovin' sh,
Shoo fly pie and apple pan dowdy
Makes your eyes light up,
Your tummy say "howdy,"
Shoo fly pie and apple pan dowdy
I never get enough of that wonderful stuff!

Pie Ingredients

1 teaspoon Medaglia d'Oro® instant espresso powder
3/4 cup boiling water (if you have an espresso maker you can substitute 3/4 cup of made espresso coffee)
1 1/4 cups bleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup baker's sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1" pieces and chilled
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup dark unsulphured molasses (I use Brer Rabbitt® )
***HINT TIME*** if you lightly grease the inside of your liquid measuring cup before you measure the molasses you will be able to get the full measure into your recipe and will have a much easier cleanup later.

Take the pie crust disc from the refrigerator, allow it to come to room temperature for about 10 minutes for easy rolling. Roll it out to make at least a 13" circle. Transfer that to a 9" pie pan fold the excess under and crimp with a fork. Cover the shell loosely and return to the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 425° with the oven rack and a baking stone on the lowest rung.

In a small mixing bowl mix up the instant espresso, or if using made espresso put that in. You want the end result of either method to be warm, not hot.

In a food processor with the metal blade, process the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt for a few minutes to mix well. Add the butter and pulse mix until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

In the small mixing bowl dissolve the the baking soda and the molasses into the warm espresso. Pour this into the pie shell.

Take the flour mixture and sprinkle this evenly into the molasses mix. At first, it will just sink in but there will begin to be a fine layer of the crumbs across the top.

Bake for 15 minutes and reduce the oven temperature to 350°, protect the rim of the pie with a foil ring to prevent overbrowning and continue to bake for another 30 minutes, until the top springs back when pressed lightly in the center.

Cool on a rack and serve warm with coffee ice cream or coffee whipped cream (make your normal whipped cream but toss in a tablespoon of the instant espresso powder)

The kids went totally apeshit over this one. It made the entire house smell marvelous. During the baking and cooling process every single kid in the house came by at one point or another and asked when they would be ready. I would tell them "twenty minutes or so" and they would instantly check the clock.

The traditional Pennsylvania Dutch way to serve this is for breakfast. I'm a big time pie for breakfast guy. I don't think that the two I made today will survive that long. I'm going to the Sun's game later tonight and once my son and his girlfriend are done with their teen age raid I don't expect to find much left for the morning.

Shoo fly pie, and apple pan dowdy. . .



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, my mistake.

I thought it was a custard pie!

There are many recipes for this, some of which I like very much and others of which I find quite nasty (at least of the few that I've tried).

- oddjob (btw, you're welcome!)

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It must have made the house smell like you were cooking molasses cookies, yes?

- oddjob

5:55 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i have seen more custardy variations of this recipe so you didn't have it totally wrong. the smell in the house was very like molasses cookies, or gingerbread, but it was thick and cloying. it smelled, quite simply, good

the kids at the house say thank you for the cook book too!

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


- oddjob

7:27 PM  
Blogger BadTux said...

Good for you. Sounds like you enjoyed the pie and the making of it and the eating of it and the people who did the eating of it and really, sometimes you just have to turn off the radio and the television and the Internets and let things be and move on to the important things, which are never about some political BS other than in that evil people use the political BS to do evil things. Sounds like you were there, today.


10:22 PM  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

When I lived in Pa. we used to go up to the Amish country and buy their Shoo fly pies. Delicious!

2:20 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

it is astonishingly wonderfull.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous spyderkl said...

I usually don't comment, but I can't resist this one.

My mom's family is Pennsylvania Dutch (among other things) and I remember making this with my great-aunts. You'd think I would have asked for the recipe...but no. The coffee in there sounds *really* good! Thanks for sharing this.

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, MB, you might want to update the post. You don't have a unit of measure for the molasses. I assume it's 3/4 cup?

- oddjob

7:28 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...


7:49 AM  
Anonymous Constant Comment said...

Count me as another Pennsylvania Dutch descendant whose grandmother always made this pie. It has always been my father's favorite.

Thanks for the memories!

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Constant Comment said...

If you're a molasses fan, I have a to-die-for, 100-year-old recipe for molasses raisin cookies I got from my Welsh grandma. They are hands down, my all-time favorite cookies.
Let me know if you want me to email it to you...


5:07 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

i am a molasses fan indeed. growing up on "indian commodities" food dole molasses was the one abundant source of sweetening we had. i still have fond memories of camp coffee sweetened with molasses and canned milk when we would go to get pine nuts.

please. send the recipe. the kids will love it. so will i.

5:37 PM  

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