Saturday, August 2, 2008

Shoo Fly Pie

This is a molasses pie considered traditional among the Pennsylvania Dutch and also known in Southern cooking. Brown sugar, molasses, shortening, salt, and spices were all non-perishable ingredients that could survive the long ocean's crossing to America made by German immigrants. The pie's unusual name is said to be due to the fact that pies were traditionally set to cool on windowsills, and due to the sweet ingredients, the cook would constantly have to shoo the flies away. I think this recipe has a few more spices than the one I made for Game Night at Jason and Jimmy's. It has that distinctive ginger snap flavor that I love.
I hope you will too!

one pie crust or half the recipe for Easy Pie Crust
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 c boiling water
1 egg yolk
1/4 c molasses
1/4 dark corn syrup

3/4 cup flour
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbs butter or shortening

Line a pie plate with pie crust. Flute the crust to make a decorative edge. Set aside. Dissolve baking soda in boiling water and add to molasses, stirring well. Stir in egg yolk. Set aside. Place dry ingredients and butter in food processor and pulse until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Pour molasses mixture into pie shell. Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over top. Do not stir. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 20 minutes longer. Cool and serve.

You can omit the corn syrup and just use twice as much molasses, but I find the flavor to be a bit strong, so I like to tone it down a little with the corn syrup. You could also use all corn syrup, but then we wouldn't have a molasses pie, now would we? I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.
If you don't have a food processor, just cut the butter into the dry mixture using a pastry cutter or two knives. I like to use the processor just because it's easier and faster.

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