Outside of Pennsylvania Dutch country (southeastern PA) few people get to taste Shoo-Fly pie. There are various recipes that result in different consistencies varying from a dry crumb like filling throughout the inside of a baked pie shell to the gooey-bottomed variety with two distinct layers that I really like. It’s the extra molasses that makes the difference. As you will read below, baking time and temperature and the amount of baking soda used also affect the result.
I had to change the recipe shown below to decrease baking temperature and time. My first attempt resulted in the lower section of the pie heaving the rest of the pie up, making it a thicker pie in which the molasses layer blended a bit too much with the lower part of the crumb topping. The pie was still tasty and not burnt but to me the interior was over-baked, and possibly there was too much baking soda.
The changes I made are to reduce the baking soda from ¾ tsp. to ½ tsp., and to reduce the time at 400ºF from 15 minutes to 10 minutes, and to reduce the time at 350ºF from 30 minutes to 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
To Make The Bottom Layer: In a medium bowl combine the molasses, hot water, salt and baking soda. Stir well. Whisk in the beaten egg. Pour the mixture into the pie shell.
To Make The Crumb Topping: In a medium bowl combine the flour and brown sugar. Mix well, then cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the spices and mix well. Sprinkle the crumb topping on top of the molasses layer.
Bake the pie in a preheated 400ºF oven for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 350ºF. Bake an additional 20 minutes.
Cool the pie completely. Serve.
This pie is very sweet, especially the molasses layer, so it goes well with a hot cup of freshly made black coffee.