Friday Pie-Day {Coffee Molasses Shoofly}

It’s Friday Pie-Day!  Today I want to share with you Coffee-Molasses Shoofly Pie.  You heard me right.  Shoo.  Fly.  This is a throw {way} back.   There was even a song about it in the early 1940′s recorded by Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah Shore, among others…

Shoofly pie and apple pan dowdy

Make your eyes light up

Your tummy say, “Howdy”

Shoofly pie and apple pan dowdy

I never get enough of that wonderful stuff

Your grandmother or great-grandmother probably had lots of shoofly pie in their day.  Shoofly pie is characterized by a cake-like top layer and a pudding-like bottom layer, and gets it’s name from all the flies that have to be shooed away because it is so delicious.  Coffee-Molasses Shoofly Pie is distinct, but not too sweet, and full of sophisticated flavor from the dark molasses and coffee.  In my opinion this pie shines brightest when served at room temperature where you can taste all the rich darkness.  I served this with a dusting of powdered sugar, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and a drizzle of caramel sauce.  Humble or outdated it was not.  Decadent and delicious…you bet.

Ready to take a step back in time via pie?

These are the ingredients for Coffee-Molasses Shoofly Pie:  flour, brown sugar, unsalted butter, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, light corn syrup, vanilla, dark molasses, strong brewed coffee, and an egg.  You need one round of store-bought pie dough or half the dough from Perfect Pie Crust {printable recipes for both are also at the end of the post}.

The crust in this pie is baked before adding the filling.  To keep the dough from puffing up during the baking process you will need some pie weights {see the box at the bottom of the above photo?}. Pie weights are ceramic pea-sized spheres used to weigh down the pie crust while it bakes.  Mine came from Williams-Sonoma.  If you don’t have a set of pie weights, you can use a 1-pound package of dried beans as a perfectly good substitute.

First, combine the flour and brown sugar.

Add the cubed butter.

Mix it all together with a fork {or your hands} until it looks crumbly.  Set aside in the refrigerator to keep the butter cold.

In another bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients.  Set aside.

Lay the pie crust in a 9 1/2-inch glass pie dish.  Make sure y0u don’t stretch the dough.

Tuck the edges under…

…and crimp them with the tines of a fork.  Then use the fork to prick the bottom of the crust.  Freeze the dough for 10 minutes.  When pie dough bakes, the water in the butter becomes steam which causes the dough to puff up {and results in that flaky texture we all love}.  However, when you bake the pie dough without anything on top of it, you need to let the steam escape or you would end up with a pie plate full of very puffy dough, but no room for the filling.  So…

…in addition to pricking it with a fork to give the steam lots of room to escape, you also need to weigh it down.  Line the dough with a piece of aluminum foil and fill it with the pie weights or dried beans.  Bake it in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.

Take it out of the oven and remove the pie weights by carefully lifting the hot foil out of the pie plate.  Return the crust to the oven and bake for 5 minutes more.

It should look like this.  Not my prettiest crust, but no worries.  Keep going.  Quickly brush the inside of the crust with some egg white to seal it and keep it from getting soggy while the filling bakes.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350.

Pour the crumb mixture into the hot crust.

Pour the liquid mixture on top of the crumb mixture.  As it bakes it will separate into a cake-like layer on top and a pudding-like layer on the bottom.  How does it do this?  I don’t know.  It’s shoofly magic.  Bake the pie for 45 minutes or until the center is set.  Start checking for doneness after 35 minutes.  How do you know when it is done?  When you jiggle the pie, it shouldn’t make ripples in the pie like a liquid would.  It really shouldn’t move at all.  Now, that being said, if you were to poke a knife into the pie, it would not come out clean because the hot filling is still very wet, but it will set and congeal as it cools.  So use the jiggle test for doneness rather than the clean knife test.  And make sure you cool it COMPLETELY before you try to serve it.  Otherwise you will have shoofly goo.

This is what my finished pie looked like.  Let me explain all of the gashes.  I kept trying to figure out if it was really done {see above}, so there are four knife marks.  One of the gashes started oozing out molten lava filling, which left a big black cavern.  This is what happens in real-life baking.  Sometimes it’s perfect, sometimes it’s full of character.  But don’t you worry.  I still sliced it up…

…and served it to a room of hungry Dallas Mavericks fans…who went on to cheer the team to victory.

Let me say this.  There are some pies or cakes that are so sweet you need ice cream to actually cut the sweetness.  This is not one of those pies.  This pie doesn’t try to trump the sweetness of the ice cream and caramel…it is enhanced and improved by both.  It is dark, smoky, complex, and very delicious.  I can see why the flies love it so much.

Click below to download a printable copy of the recipe…Enjoy!

{Coffee-Molasses Shoofly Pie}

{Perfect Pie Crust}

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6 Responses to Friday Pie-Day {Coffee Molasses Shoofly}

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  3. Great site. A lot of helpful info here. I am sending it to some friends ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you for your effort!

  4. Pingback: Friday Pie-Day {Strawberry Rhubarb} | katherine sasser

  5. Rachelle says:


  6. Sandra Sasser says:

    Interesting. I’m sure you know also that the Amish make Shoo fly pie all the time…one of their staples I think. Looks yummy, I’m sure it is and adding ice cream and caramel…can’t go wrong!

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