Saturday, December 05, 2009
Here's to a PA Dutch classic. Some might consider this an acquired taste. Some might turn their nose up at, but there are few foodstuffs that scream Central PA as much as shoo-fly pie. I grew up on shoo fly pie, chocolate shoo fly pie(sup, Ramsburg?) and its kind of dry cousin, shoo fly cake. I say 'kind of dry' because I judge shoo fly pies on the ratio of moist molasses to crumb topping and shoo fly cake has a thick cake layer.
So, what exactly is shoo fly pie? It's basically a crust filled with molasses that is thickened with an egg and finished with a crumb topping. So, as with any other dish that has few ingredients, the ingredients are very important. Oh yeah, you gotta love molasses. Period. This pie is basically just a molasses transport system. So, search out a molasses that you like. Also, I like to add some dark coffee to my pie...I think the bit of bitter that the coffee adds as it cuts the heavy sweet of the molasses.
So, here's the recipe we use at the restaurant:
1 9 inch pie crust
1 cup molasses
3/4 cup hot, dark coffee
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, beaten
3/4 C AP flour
1/2 C packed dark brown sugar
1/4 C malted milk
Whisk together the molasses, coffee, baking soda and egg in a mixing bowl. Pour mixture into the pie shell. Combine the flour, brown sugar, and malted milk in a bowl and cut the butter into the flour mix until it resembles coarse sand. Sprinkle the flour and butter mix evenly over the molasses. Bake the pie at 400 degrees for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
I like to make a puddle of caramel sauce on the plate, put the shoo on top of the caramel and top the pie with cinnamon stick ice cream. Simply Central PA. Simply delicious.