Thick and sweet molasses filling nestled in a delicious buttery crust and topped with a crumble topping. This gooey molasses pie is a favored classic of the Amish community and once referred to as the centennial cake in the late 1800s and eaten with strong coffee for breakfast.
The Shoo Fly Pie gets its name from the fact that flies were very attracted to molasses in the filling and would often swarm close by when it was being prepared. To prevent contamination, the flies would have to be “shooed” away constantly; thus The “Shoo Fly” Pie was born.
You Can Do It!
This Pie recipe consists of 3 parts, crust, filling, and crumble. All you need to do is make the crust first and refrigerate it. While the crust is chilling, make the crumble and the filling, assemble, and bake! There are quite a few steps in the recipe but you’ll be fine as long as you follow my instructions.
The shoofly pie is made using cheap and basic ingredients, yet it is rich in flavor and texture. It’s the perfect dinner-time dessert if you’re on a budget but want to try something new. Serve this to your family and they’ll gobble it up!
How Should You Serve Shoo Fly Pie?
This pie is best served chilled or at room temperature, eat as is when it cools down or top with some whipped cream and chopped nuts. Enjoy a slice of this tasty pie in the morning with your coffee or tea and you’ll be ready to take on the world!
What’s The Serving Size?
This pie will yield about 8 or more slices, but that will all depend on o how thick you’re willing to cut it. This serving size is great to share with family for a snack or dessert or take it with your to visit a friend, I’m sure they’ll appreciate it!
Mixing bowls– You’ll need about 3-4 mixing bowls to combine the ingredients for the crust, filling, and topping separately.
Pastry Cutter– Use a regular pastry blender or two forks.
Rolling Pin– Use a wooden or silicone-coated rolling pin to roll out the pie crust.
Baking Pan– Use a standard-sized pie pan for this recipe.
Knife– you’ll need a small knife or a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the excess dough from the crust.
Bob’s Red Mill– In total, I used 2 1/2 cups of this AP flour in both the crust and the crumble topping. You can use whatever brand you have at home.
Butter and Shortening– Both the butter and shortening used in this recipe were cold. Do not use them at room temperature.
Brown Sugar– If you have any brown sugar, just sub with an equal amount of granulated sugar.
Cornstarch– No cornstarch? No problem! Arrowroot makes a great replacement, all you have to do is use the same amount that the recipe calls for and you’re good to go!.
All The Ingredients
- Flour– Combined with salt, shortening, butter, cold water to make the crust.
- Salt– Adds flavor to the crust.
- Shortening– Combine with the dry crust ingredients with a pastry blender.
- Butter– Gives moisture and flavor to the crust.
- Cold Water– added to the dough until smooth.
- Brown Sugar– Combined with shortening and flour to make the crumble, also used in the filling.
- Molasses– Used in the filling as the main flavor.
- Corn Syrup– Combined with molasses, brown sugar, and eggs to make the filling.
- Eggs– Emulsifies the molasses mixture.
- Hot Water– Combined with powdered sugar and vanilla to make the glaze.
- Cornstarch– Used to thicken up the pie filling.
How The Pie Was Made
- Mix the flour and salt in a bowl, incorporate the shortening with a pastry blender until it is crumbly, then repeat with the butter just until combined.
- Starting with 2 tablespoons of iced water, mix it with the crumb mixture until it forms a loose dough that comes together easily.
- Transfer the dough to a clean and lightly floured surface and knead gently until the fats are fully incorporated.
- Shape the dough into a 1-inch thick disk and wrap tightly in plastic and chill for at least 60 minutes.
- Lightly flour the surface once more and roll out the dough disk using a flour-coated rolling pin, rotating and adding flour as needed.
- Roll to about 13 inches wide use the rolling pin to transfer the dough to the pie pan.
- Fit the dough into the pie pan and cut off the overhanging pieces, decorate the edges by pinching or rolling and return to the fridge until the filling is complete.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and combine the crumble ingredients in a small bowl until crumbly and set aside.
- In the cup with the hot water, dissolve the cornstarch and set it aside. In a medium bowl, mix the corn syrup, brown sugar, molasses, and eggs, then stir in the cornstarch mixture until well combined.
- Remove the crust from the refrigerator and pour in half of the molasses filling, then half of the crumble mixture, the remaining half of the filling, followed by the last of the crumble mixture.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce to 350 degrees and bake for 40-50 minutes more until the center is firm.
Refrigerate The Crust
Once I had made the dough for the crust I wrapped it in plastic wrap and refrigerated it for an hour. I did this to keep the fats in the dough from melting and seeping through as this can ruin the dough and cause a very oily and soggy crust.
Combining The Butter and Flour
To achieve breadcrumb-type texture in both the crust and crumble, I used a pastry blender to cut the fats into the flour for even distribution.
If you don’t have a pastry cutter you can either tape 2 forks together as a sub or you can do it by hand. Use your thumb and forefinger to rub the fats into the flour until thoroughly incorporated.
How To Store Shoo Fly Pie
ShooFly Pie will keep at room temperature for up to 5 days when covered or you can refrigerate it for up to 8 days covered in an airtight container. For long-term storage, cover in tin foil and freeze for up to a month.
The signature pie in the state of Pennsylvania, this moist and gooey treat has secured its place in not just food history, but in the hearts and stomachs of all who’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy it. So go ahead and try the shoofly pie, you’ll be glad you did.
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 tbs cubed unsalted butter (cold)
- 3-5 tbs cold water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
- 1/4 cup vegetable shortening (cold)
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- In a medium bowl, mix the salt and flour, then add the cold shortening and incorporate it into the dry ingredients with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles wet breadcrumbs.
- Add the cold butter cubes into the crumble just until combined, this will result in a combination of small and larger crumbs.
- Pour in 2 tablespoons of cold water to the crumble and toss lightly to distribute. Use more water until the mixture holds the shape when squeezed.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth. Flatten to about an inch thickness, wrap in plastic, and chill for an hour in the fridge.
- Transfer the chilled dough to a flour-dusted surface and gently roll it out to 13 inches wide using a lightly floured rolling pin. Turn as you roll the dough and use more flour on the surface to prevent sticking.
- Starting from one end, carefully lift the dough onto the rolling pin and transfer it to a pie pan, gently tuck the dough into the pan and trim away the excess. Shape the edges as desired and refrigerate while making the filling and topping.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F or 200°C.
- To make the crumble, mix the flour, brown sugar then use the pastry blender to incorporate the shortening into the mixture until it forms small crumbs, set this aside, and make the filling.
- In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the hot water and set it aside. Combine the molasses, corn syrup, brown sugar, and eggs until blended. Stir in the cornstarch mixture until well combined.
- Pour out half the molasses mixture into the crust, sprinkle half of the crumble on top, and pour the remaining liquid over the crumbs. Top with the rest of the crumble.
- Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for another 40-50 minutes firm in the center. Cool on a wire rack before serving.