19 February 2014

Shoofly Pie . . .

I love jazz music. Kind of a lot. The lyrics of one of my favorite vocal jazz pieces begins with, "Shoofly pie and apple pandowdy." I am neither very good at or interested in clearly identifying lyrics in songs. I'm more interested in the tune and the beat. So for years I have heard this song and just kind of assumed that 'shoofly pie' and 'apple pandowdy' were nonsense words (they sounded Dr. Seuss-ish to me). Right up until a couple of months ago I was under this false assumption. And then shoofly pie showed up in a children's book that was being read to my youngest child in a music class. My mind was blown.

I decided that day that I must search for a recipe for apple pandowdy, and that I would soon be making and blogging about shoofly pie (the recipe for that was provided in the class). I subsequently found an apple pandowdy recipe (even Martha Stewart has deigned to create a version) and 'pinned' it. And now I have made shoofly pie - pictures to prove it, and I'll share the recipe with you.

First, you will need a pie crust - you can buy one ready made, or make it from scratch. I chose to make mine from scratch. Let me assure you that although pastry crusts have a rep for being tricky to make, it's much less true if you are using a food processor. But rather than give you specific directions here, I'll refer you to this tutorial and give you the recipe I used:

Buttery Pie Crust
1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 t. salt
1/2 c. butter, chilled and grated
1/4 c. ice water

This quantity of this recipe will only be good for a pie without a top crust. Shoofly pie does not have a top crust - at least the recipe I have doesn't. It has a crumb topping!

 Just had my children try it this evening. While it wouldn't be completely honest to say they hated it, 'like' would also be too strong of a word. :) I liked it, but I didn't love it. It's worth trying I'd say. And now, I have another mini goal I can check off. Win!

I suggest serving this with a generous helping of whipping cream. Molasses is intensely sweet, and the whipped cream makes it less intense. Also, I first put my pie crust in a deep-dish pie pan, then switched it to a shallower pan because I didn't think the filling would fill it up. It turns out that the molasses mixture expands quite a bit while baking, so a deep-dish pan would probably work even though the 'filling' is originally only a scant two cups. I started getting nervous that it would make a mess in my oven, but it had only overflowed a little bit before I checked on it again, so I didn't have to put out an oven fire today (and yes, I have before - at least twice). The evidence of the overflow was trimmed away so the edge of the pastry crust could still be seen. In case you're wondering.

Shoofly Pie

9-in pie shell
1 c. molasses
¾ c. hot water
¾ t. baking soda
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ c. all-purpose flour
1 c. packed brown sugar
¼ c. shortening

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine molasses, hot water, and baking soda. Stir well. Whisk in beaten egg. Pour mixture into pie shell.
Crumb topping: In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Mix well. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over molasses layer. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Lower temperature to 350 and bake for 30 more minutes. Allow to cool completely.

I love a good culinary adventure. Especially when it ends up being edible. :) Actually, only when it ends up being edible do I love a culinary adventure. If it doesn't, then I'm terribly put out. Just ask my husband. hahaha Anyway, you might consider giving this a try for Pi Day! Unless you don't like molasses. Then you may not want to try it ever.


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