Buffalo Trace

Buffalo Trace
From a few years ago, me mugging with the bronze buffalo sculpture at Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky.

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Shoo-Fly Pie Tutorial: I Love My New Mexico Visits



A thing of beauty: One of the Shoo-Fly Pies waiting for me at my sister's before I seriously attacked it.
 I am currently relaxing at my sister's in New Mexico. I'm here for a milestone birthday, but more about that in a future blog.

One of my favorite things about making the 1,600 or so mile trip is that my sister is convinced that she needs to bake things for my visits that my mother used to bake for me. I am not going to make an argument to the contrary.

My annual Christmas trips are rewarded with Swedish Rye Bread and an assortment of homemade cookies. Off-Holiday visits usually inspire her to make Shoo-Fly Pie.


A couple of dapper Pennsylvania Dutch lads no doubt celebrating Shoo-Fly-Pie Day.
 A concoction of the Pennsylvania Dutch, Shoo-Fly Pie is a molasses-based confection that comes in two varieties. Basic Shoo-Fly Pie is a dark molasses cake baked in a pie crust. Wet-bottom Shoo-Fly Pie has a soft molasses layer between the crust and the cake-like layer.

I am a fan of both types. I kike the wet-bottom variety heated with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top as a dessert. It's the ideal finish to a dinner of fried chicken and steamed dried corn.

Historically, though, my family makes the cake version and we eat it as a coffee cake for breakfast. There's no better reason to get up in the morning.

In my never-ending quest to spread civilization, here is my family's recipe:

2 C. flour
1 C. sugar
1 C. hot water
1 C. dark molasses (Brer Rabbit green label is best.)
1 Egg
1 Tsp. baking soda
1 Tsp. baking powder
¾ C. margarine
1 Tsp. cinnamon
½ Tsp. ginger
½ Tsp. nutmeg
½ Tsp. salt
2 Nine-inch pie crusts

  1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
  2. Mix flour, sugar, salt and margarine until crumbly.
  3. Set aside ½ cup of this mixture.
  4. Into the remainder mix the other ingredients.
  5. Pour the mixture into the pie crusts.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes and then spread the ½ cup of crumbles evenly over the two pies.
  7. Bake for another 10 minutes or until done.
We are going to keep the fact I have this recipe between us. As long as my sister believes Shoo-Fly Pie is beyond my modest culinary talents, the longer she'll bake it for my visits. Let's not screw up a good thing.

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