Shoofly Pie


Possibly meant to be a version of the British classic Treacle Tart (Harry Potter’s favorite), this sweet molasses pie is an American tradition, especially in the Pennsylvania Dutch country. There are a couple of versions, but this recipe is the one I got when we visited the region during the Bicentennial. (That’s 1976, kids.) Supposedly it gets its name from the flies it attracts, which is pretty gross, if you think about it too long.  So don’t think–just bake.


1 unbaked pie shell

½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup boiling water

½ cup molasses

1 large egg, beaten slightly

¾ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F. Stir together soda, boiling water, and molasses. Mix in the beaten egg, then pour into unbaked pie shell.
  2. In a separate bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut-in the butter until the mixer resembles a coarse crumbs, then spread on top of the molasses in the pie. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown. Serve at room temperature, with a dollop of crème fraiche or a scoop of buttermilk ice cream.

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