Originally intended as a simple breakfast to be enjoyed with morning coffee before a hard day’s work, shoo-fly pie is heavy, rich and thoroughly satisfying, best enjoyed in smallish portions.
Because molasses remains the central flavor of this pie, it is important to use one that you like. To my taste, a half-and-half mix of Grandma’s Original molasses, which is mild to the point of tasting like a brown-sugar simple syrup, and Brer Rabbit, which is much more aggressively flavored and rich, works nicely.
Read my feature on shoo-fly pie to learn more about this dessert.
About the author: Amanda Clarke is a recovering restaurant pastry chef with a background in architecture. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes, tests, and develops recipes and works on freelance food-styling gigs between walkings and feedings of her two dogs and husband.
- 1/2 recipe Foolproof Pie Dough
- Crumb mixture
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (180 grams)
- 1 cup brown sugar (150 grams)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold (30 grams)
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, natural or processed, frozen (130 grams)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Molasses mixture
- 2/3 cup molasses (220 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2/3 cup water, boiling (150 grams)
Line a 9-inch pie plate, the deepest you can find, with pie crust. Place in the refrigerator or freezer while you prepare the rest of the pie.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place all of the ingredients for the crumb mixture in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the mixture until fine, homogeneous crumbs form. Set aside in the refrigerator.
Mix the baking soda into the molasses until thoroughly distributed. Whisk in the boiling water.
Immediately pour molasses mixture into chilled pie shell. Distribute crumb mixture evenly over the surface of the molasses mixture, taking care not to mix the two.
Place the pie on a foil-lined baking tray and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the top is lightly browned and the edges are well set (the longer you bake the pie, the less “wet” the bottom will be).