My mother used to make a wonderful Pennsylvania Dutch dessert, her wet bottom shoo-fly pie. The “wet bottom” part of the pie refers to the gooey molasses layer that coats the crust. A spice cake sits on the wet bottom and the whole thing is covered with a crumbly topping. Easy to make, this “Schmeckt gut” – tastes good!
I hadn’t made a shoo-fly pie in ages, so when my talented food-writing friend, Rachael, mentioned a pie brigade coming up to celebrate National Pie Day, I was in. In fact, I jumped at the chance to break my diet and share a piece of pie with my readers.
National Pie Day will be celebrated January 23, which coincides with Rachael’s birthday. Happy Birthday, dear Rachael! I hope you will be digging into a birthday pie soon and wish you were right here to enjoy this one…
TIP: I buy pre-made pie crusts from the deli section of the grocery store, not being much of a pie crust fan. Many folks find this sacrilegious, so feel free to make your own homemade crust.
- 1 nine-inch pie crust, unbaked
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ cup unsulphured molasses
- ¾ cup boiling water
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup all-purpose unbleached white flour
- ½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the pie crust in a glass or ceramic pie plate, flute edges and set aside.
- Beat the egg yolk in a small bowl. Add the molasses and mix together.
- Add the baking soda to the boiling water and stir until the soda dissolves. Add to the egg-molasses mixture.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Add the butter and use your fingers to work into large crumbs.
- Pour the liquid mixture into the fluted pie crust.Sprinkle crumbs evenly on top.
- Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then lower heat to 325 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes.
Oh how I wish I was there to eat a slice!! Plus, that would mean that I’d get to hang out with you…which would be even better! What an amazing pie! Thank you so much for lending a hand for Pie Week celebrations! XO
Can’t wait to watch what Pie Week brings for us all – fun! Thanks for including me.
Love that you did a shoo fly pie! I was just looking over my Pennsylvania Dutch Cookbook especially after the Vinegar Pie question yesterday, your recipe looks wonderful, great shot too!
Thanks, Wendy – it’s a good recipe that I take no credit for – I have no idea where my mother found it.
Do you have to temper the egg mixture a bit? Looks delicious I can’t wait to try it. What is it similar to? Thanks.
No, I just mix the egg yolk with the molasses – shoo-fly pie is unlike any other pie I know. Hard to describe other than I do in my headnote. Try it!
Great post- I’ve ways wondered what a shoo-fly pie was! For some reason I thought it was raisins, you learn something new everyday! Happy pie week Liz!
It’s an easy recipe – you throw it together and it separates into three layers – more like a cake than a pie.
Next time we come to visit, this is all I want. Just this for appetizers, dinner AND dessert. I’ve been in love with this pie since you first posted it!!!
I’m glad you remember that, Susan – it was for Mother’s Day on food52, then on my blog. I needed to update the photo and Rachael gave me the perfect opportunity.
I am Pennsylvania Dutch, we ate Shoo Fly Pie all the time, and my mom even perfected a Shoo Fly Coffee Cake that is to die for.
Yahoo Shoo Fly!
eDorothy, I never knew that you were “Dutch” – and I would love to see that coffee cake recipe.
I’m not normally attracted to recipes with the words “wet and bottom” in them, but for this I think I’ll make an exception….looks fabulous!
Honest, it is the real name for this version of shoo-fly pie, Steve – but your reaction is common to folks not from PA Dutch country.
I have heard of shoo fly pie but never had one. Goodness. This takes care of that!
It is truly a good dessert – I promise, despite its name 😉
I love shoo-fly pie but have never made one, and now I can’t wait to do so. Happy Pie Day to you, from a fellow fan of the amazing and inspiring La Fuji Mama, AKA the Birthday Girl.
Thanks, Nancie, you are the champion of pies…
What a great story AND pie! I’ve never heard of shoo-fly pie, so thank you for the culinary (and cultural) lesson.
Thanks, Laura, and welcome home – eager to hear about your culinary adventures in the Bay Area.
My birthday is on January 23 too! I have always wanted to make shoo fly pie. This looks so gooey and delightful!
It’s usually a git with folks once they get past the name –
I’ve only ever heard of this pie before but it sounds fabulous! I’m sharing with my mother because I know she will love it.
I hope she enjoys it, Barbara – the recipe is very simple and easy to make.
Try to find a copy of The Art of Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking by Edna Eby Heller (1968). There’s a wet-bottom shoo-fly pie recipe in it that’s indentical to your mom’s, except using shortening instead of butter.
While I was growing up, I would often go to Pennsylvania Dutch country, and I remember really loving shoo fly pie. Haven’t had a slice since I moved to SD. Brings back memories. Looks delicious Liz!
It’s my all-time favorite PA Dutch recipe – thanks, Brandon.