Shoo Fly Pie

November 16, 2012

Shoofly Pie

I have SO many things to say about this one pie! I don’t even know where to begin…

How many of you have actually heard of Shoo Fly Pie? I have only ran across it maybe once or twice and it left my mind as quickly as it entered it. I always just thought of it as a traditional Southern pie that had a filling similar to Pecan Pie, but with a spiced molasses filling and no nuts. I was wrong on both accounts. This is a dessert native to the Pennsylvania Dutch. And unfortunately you can’t really see from my photos, but the way the filling bakes up in this pie is so magical! The bottom turns into what closely resembles a pecan pie filling (minus the nuts) and the top bakes into a cake with a crumb topping!! How cool is that? Simply from layering syrup and crumbs into a pie shell… it’s just so interesting how it separates so beautifully! That is not at all what I was expecting when I went to make this cake. But now that I have experienced the Shoo Fly pie magic, I think I’m in love.

Shoofly Pie

If you want to see how the layers turn out in a more defined photo, I encourage you to go on over to Not So Humble Pie’s Blog to check it out.

Now that you know how this pie works and ultimately what the result will be as far as texture- how does it taste? AWESOME! That’s what makes this pie even better. I feel like I just stumbled upon the greatest pie secret ever… It has a hint of spice and an undertone of molasses. The cake layer reminds me instantly of gingerbread. And the entire thing is on the moderately sweet side (un-like pecan pie), it really is not a very rich pie. That’s why I opted to top it with some bourbon vanilla ice cream. Mmmmmm, it’s the perfect way to adorn this pie. Although I wouldn’t throw up my nose at some sweetened whip cream either. I’m just an ice cream-topper when it comes to pie. Especially warm pie : )

If you’re looking through the recipe list and you are scratching your head because you don’t know what King Syrup or Golden Barrel Table Syrup is- don’t worry! I used the substitution provided by the author and it worked out perfectly (1/3c Light Corn syrup, 1/3c Molasses and 2 Tablespoons Honey- the quantity is exact for what is called for in the recipe).

Here is a break down of how the magic happens:

Shoofly Pie

You begin with the crumb mixture. Combine flour, spices, and brown sugar.

Shoofly Pie

Then using a pastry cutter (or your finger-tips if you’re old school like me), blend in the shortening to make crumbs.

Shoofly Pie

Next, in a separate bowl, mix up the filling ingredients- King’s syrup, hot water, egg, vanilla, and baking soda.

Shoofly Pie

Then it’s time to assemble! Pre-baking the pie shell is really quite optional. I did just in case, but next time, I don’t think that I would.

To assemble, you simply layer in the crumb mixture and filling mixture.

Start with 1/3 of the crumbs on the bottom (about 1/2 cup).

Shoofly Pie

Followed by half the filling, another third crumb mixture, the remaining filling, and top it all off with the rest of the crumbs.

That is it! Now you bake it and let the magic happen…

Shoofly Pie

Somehow you are left with three distinct layers- gooey bottom, cakey middle, and streusel topping.

How amazing is that!? And the best part is that it is SO yummy!

Particularly so served warm with ice cream the day it’s made : D

Welome to my life Shoofly Pie.

Shoo Fly Pie
Serves: 8 to 10 servings
  • One 9" pie crust
  • For the Crumbs:
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons shortening (or butter, which I used)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon cloves
  • For the Filling:
  • ¾ cup King Syrup or Golden Barrel Table Syrup*
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • 1 well beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • *Substitution listed in notes*
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out pie dough and shape into a 9" pie plate. Cover and freeze 20 minutes. Remove and prick the bottom with the forks of a tine. Cover the bottom of the pie shell with parchment paper and pie weights (rice or dried beans work well too). Bake 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and take off weights and parchment. Place pan back in the oven and continue to bake an additional 10 minutes or until crust is just golden brown. Remove and set aside to cool as you make the crumbs and filling.
  2. For the Crumbs: Whisk together all of the dry ingredients then cut in shortening or butter with pastry blender until it has appearance of crumbs (alternatively use your finger tips). Set aside.
  3. For the Filling: Combine the syrup and hot water then stir in the baking soda, vanilla and egg.
  4. To Assemble: Place a third of the crumbs in a layer on the bottom of the pie shell (about ½ cup crumbs per third). Pour about half the syrup over the crumbs. Layer in another third of the crumbs followed by the remaining syrup. Scatter the remaining crumbs over the entire top. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F and bake for 20-25 more minutes. Remove pie from oven and let cool on rack.
Substitute King's Syrup with ⅓c Light Corn syrup, ⅓c Molasses and 2 Tablespoons Honey. Best served warm and particularly so with ice cream!

adapted from Not So Humble Pie


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy (Savory Moments) November 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm

This looks great. I only ever had Shoo Fly pie once we when were in Lancaster, PA. I was looking all over for it. When I finally had it, I was kind of disappointed in it – but I think it was just the place I got it from. This ones looks really delicious and full of spices and flavors.


lmachell November 21, 2012 at 8:24 am

I found that is was absolutely best served warm with ice cream. Room temperature and plain just did not do it for me.


brighteyedbaker November 18, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I’ve definitley never heard of Shoo Fly Pie but by the way you describe it, it sounds amazing! I really love your photos of it too. 🙂 All those textures together… Yum!


Emma November 20, 2012 at 2:08 pm

This is an interesting variation – Shoofly Pie has been a staple in my house since before I was born, an old family tradition. Ours is a bit different (which is one of the great things about there never being only one recipe for whatever you’re making) but I might have to blend a bit of this one with mine. I love love love brown sugar – ours just uses regular granulated sugar. This might have to change now. 🙂 The King Syrup variation is interesting too – we just use straight molasses. I’m so glad to see this recipe though. I wrote an article about it for Christmas last year. Maybe it’ll become more popular/known now. 🙂 If not, at least it’s a yummy secret a lot of people can have. Happy Holidays.


meredith February 10, 2013 at 12:46 am

I have made this for years with no egg and straight up good molasses. You should check out some other recipes just to get that real molasses flavor. We make this at Christmas and love to share it. It also makes a great breakfast. This and good coffee….is pure yum.


Frank July 22, 2013 at 7:44 pm

I’ve always used and or seen Shoo Fly Pie recipes with Molasses. Instead of using King Syrup, I substituted Sugar in the Raw liquid turbinado syrup, unlike King which is a blended corn syrup. The flavor was milder and less sweet in comparison to molasses. Topped with soft vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and a good cup of coffee or a nice strong cup of tea, this variation is a keeper. Might even take it up a notch by drizzling melted chocolate over the whipped cream!


lmachell July 24, 2013 at 9:01 am

I absolutely agree- warm, served with ice cream and a hot drink is EXACTLY how to serve this!


Leave a Comment

Rate this recipe:  

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: