Shoofly Pie - A PA Dutch American Delicacy
Anyone who has ever experienced it knows that there's nothing quite like a delicious slice of shoofly pie, and no better way to conjure up the taste of Pennsylvania farm county than to indulge in this timeless treat. But what makes it so special?
What is Shoofly Pie?
Shoofly pie is a traditional molasses-based pie with a crumb topping. Shoofly pie is made by combining molasses, brown sugar, flour, baking soda, and spices to create a sticky filling. This filling is then poured into an unbaked pie crust and topped with a crumb topping made of flour, sugar, butter, and cinnamon. The pie is then baked until the filling is bubbly and the crumb topping is golden brown
Where does Shoofly Pie come from?
There are many debates over the history of shoofly pie. Some say that it originated in England, while others claim that it’s an early American recipe that dates back to the late 1700s. Shoofly pies were originally made with leftover yeast from brewing beer. These days, the yeast has been replaced with baking soda, but the pie is still just as delicious. This wonderful gooey molasses-based confection is most often found among the modern descendants of PA Dutch settlers in Central Pennsylvania. During its former heyday, it was reputedly cooked in the open air and famously placed on windowsills to cool. And while its story may have begun over a century ago among PA Dutch settlers, enjoying shoofly pie is still a thriving Pennsylvania tradition today.
Why is it called Shoofly Pie?
No one is exactly sure how this delicious dessert got its name. Some believe that the name comes from the phrase "shoo, fly", as in "shoo, fly, don't bother me!" A related theory suggests the name came from the use of that phrase in the lyrics of a popular song from the 1800s.
There is also some evidence that the pie takes its name from “Shoofly the Boxing Mule,” who was part of an animal act that performed with a traveling circus in PA Dutch Country in the mid-19th century. This mule was named for the aforementioned song. The mule Shoofly became so famous that his name was appropriated to adorn the packaging of a number of household good and products, including Shoofly Flour, Shoofly Horse Powder, and... Shoofly Molasses. This brand of molasses— the key ingredient for shoofly pie—eventually was adopted as the name of the pie itself.
Regardless of where it came from or how it got its name, one thing is for sure - shoofly pie is a delicious favorite throughout central Pennsylvania and beyond!
Wet Bottom vs Dry Bottom
There are two types of shoofly pie - wet bottom and dry bottom. Wet bottom shoofly pie is made with a molasses syrup filling, while dry bottom shoofly pie has a more cake-like texture. In a wet bottom pie, the bottom crust is formed by the molasses soaking into the crumb bottom and solidifying. If you're from central Pennsylvania, you know the only kind worth serving is a slice of wet bottom shoofly pie with ice cream.
Try Our Shoofly Pie
The Shoofly Pie we offer at Stoltzfus Meats is locally produced by the batch, using a traditional PA Dutch recipe. Only the finest ingredients are used to create shoofly pie of the very highest quality. We’re proud of our shoofly pie and we think you’ll agree… it’s a delicious treat that no one will ever “shoo away” from your dessert table!
If you haven't tried it, be sure to order one of our 6 or 8-inch pies and give it a try. You won't be disappointed!