Wet Bottom Shoofly Pie – Mother’s Day Without Mama

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 As a young bride from New York City transplanted to Lebanon, PA, my mother was slow to embrace Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. In culture shock, she couldn’t even communicate with the landlord, who spoke “Dutch”.

Nonetheless, over the years she developed this delicious recipe that still gets a laugh when I refer to it by name, “wet bottom shoofly pie”.

A classic Pennsylvania Dutch favorite, it “schmeckt gut”, tastes good!

Mother’s Day comes up this Sunday. Happy Mother’s Day. If you are lucky enough to have yours, embrace her and tell her how much she means to you.

Serves 6

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 3/4 cups boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons room-temperature butter
  • 1 9-inch pie shell, unbaked

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Beat the egg yolk in a small bowl. Blend in the molasses.

3. Boil the water and dissolve the baking soda in it. Stir in to the egg yolk and molasses. Set aside.

4. Combine dry ingredients. Add butter and work into crumbs with your fingers.

5. Pour liquid into pastry crust and evenly sprinkle crumbs on top.

6. Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then lower heat to 325 degrees and bake for another 30 minutes.


Food 52: Editors’ Pick

Response from Amanda and Merrill of Food 52, posted by Stephanie: “The sweet molasses custard is wonderful with the warm spices used in the topping. The technique of sprinkling the crumbs over the very wet filling results in a great pie with a gooey center and a crumbly topping. I used a 9-inch pie pan and the crust puffed up to reach the edges in the oven.”

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13 Responses to Wet Bottom Shoofly Pie – Mother’s Day Without Mama

  1. lizthechef May 7, 2011 at 4:22 am #

    Maybe I should not have reposted a post – but so fitting!

  2. Lana May 7, 2011 at 6:18 am #

    Your post touched me. My mother is ailing in Serbia, and I cannot be there to hold her hand. You are so right, I should tell her how much I love her every day.
    Your mother was truly a beauty! Reminds me of the great actresses like Liz Taylor or Ava Gardner – the same charm:)
    My ex-husband went to Kalamazoo, and Oakland County was my first home when I crossed the ocean:)
    I wish that we had more time at Camp Blogaway – we have to organize a reunion so we can talk and get to know each other:)
    Have a great weekend and enjoy your relatives!

    • lizthechef May 7, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

      Hoping your mother recovers and that you can be together soon!

  3. Sarah Herman May 7, 2011 at 2:48 am #

    I came here through Greg@SippitySup and was pleasantly suprised when I read about you. I grew up in Michigan and now also live in beautiful San Diego.
    I work as Chef for a non-profit and helping children choose healthy food options is my passion. Your site is lovely!

    • lizthechef May 7, 2011 at 4:25 am #

      I went to Kalamazoo College, as did my maternal grandpa and great-uncle. Let’s connect!

  4. Fuji Mama May 7, 2011 at 2:57 am #

    What a sweet sweet post. Your mom was gorgeous! Hugs my friend. Thank you to your mom for raising you to be the amazing woman that you are.

  5. Barbara @ Barbara Bakes May 7, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    Such a sweet post. I lost my Mom last year and it’s so much harder than I ever imagined. This pie sounds like wonderful comfort food.

    • lizthechef May 7, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

      I wish I could make you this pie – it is comfort food and so easy to bake. I’m so sorry about your mother – such a huge loss.

  6. Jayne May 7, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    What a lovely picture of your Mother! Such a lovely post. So wonderful that you have your mothers recipes, such treasure!

    • lizthechef May 7, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

      Thanks, Jayne, I remember spending “Mothering Sunday” with my mother when we visited Cornwall together. It’s in March, isn’t it?

      • Jayne May 7, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

        Yes it is March in the UK!

  7. Elizabeth @ My Communal Table May 8, 2011 at 4:46 am #

    I think that is so important to pass on these recipes. I have never even had shoofly pie. I always imagine who and why someone came up with the recipes I am creating. I love the history and love that each generation adds to a recipe. Your beautiful mother added her lovely touch to it. I will have to make it. What was your mother’s name btw?

    • lizthechef May 8, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

      Thanks, Elizabeth, my Mom’s name was “Marilou” a combination of her two grandmother’s names. Happy Mother’s Day to you, friend!

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