Amish Wet Bottom Shoofly Pie Recipe

Amish shoo-fly pie

What is Wet Bottom Shoo-fly Pie?

This Amish wet bottom shoofly pie recipe is a traditional Amish breakfast pie similar to a coffee cake. It has a thin gooey molasses layer on the bottom and a cake-like center with a crumb topping. All of that perfection is encased in a flaky pie crust.

Wet bottom shoofly pie is perfect with a cup of coffee! And it is served in many Amish homes as a dessert with breakfast.

History of the Dutch Shoo-fly Pie

One intriguing aspect of the shoo-fly pie is its history. Where did it come from and how did it get that disgusting name? Shoo-fly pie seems to have its roots with the Pennsylvania Dutch. Some think its invention was due to Dutch housewives making do with what was left in the larder in late winter – namely flour, lard, and molasses.

According to one historian, shoo-fly pie started as a crustless molasses cake or Centennial cake. It was baked in 1876 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

I don’t think anyone knows for sure where it came from, but its history with the Amish goes back at least as far as the 1800s.

And it has a rather unusual name that is presumed by some to come from the fact that pools of sweet, sticky molasses sometimes formed on the top of the pie while it was cooling, inevitably attracting flies. Thus “Shoo-fly!” pie was named.

Shoofly Pie Wet Bottom is popular in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

I grew up in the Lancaster County area, in the heart of Amish country. If you visit any Amish bakery in that area they will most likely have Shoofly pie on the shelf, as this pie is quite famous there.

We did not very often eat dessert with breakfast at our house. But I know that many Amish families do serve wet bottom shoofly pie for breakfast quite regularly. My aunt made Amish shoofly pie every week because my uncle didn’t think his breakfast was complete without a slice of pie.

Wet bottom shoofly pie, Do the Amish eat healthy food?

I used to think that we ate fairly healthy, but looking back I’m not sure if we did??

The Amish do grow a lot of their own food, making it more organic. And they cook and bake everything from scratch, so there are no preservatives and not a bunch of processed food. So I guess they eat healthier than a lot of people do.

But we did eat a lot of carbs. We often ate bread, potatoes, and corn in the same meal, along with meat, a salad, and a dessert to finish it off. And sometimes we’d even add noodles to the meal yet too. So you’re looking at four different carbs plus dessert. And we always had dessert, except for breakfast.

We grew and froze a lot of sweet corn and it seemed to be everyone’s favorite vegetable. So we ate a lot of corn.

And the Amish love their baked goods. My dad was the one in our house that thought he always needed a little something sweet after his meal. He didn’t eat a lot but wanted at least a small piece of cake or pie. So we always had dessert in the house.

So, I don’t know if it sounds like a very healthy diet? But sadly, I still have a sweet tooth. And one of my hobbies is baking. Therefore it’s a constant struggle for me to leave the sweets alone.

How to make authentic Lancaster County shoofly pie

To make this wet bottom shoofly pie, start with the wet ingredients. Bring water to boiling, remove from heat and add baking soda to water. Set aside.

Put eggs and brown sugar in a mixing bowl, mix well till it’s creamy looking. Add molasses and water mixture. Mix and set aside to cool a bit.

wet ingredients for shoo-fly pie
wet mixture

For the crumb mixture: Mix flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Add shortening and butter slices. Crumble with a pastry blender or you can use your mixer with the paddle attachment.

crumb mixture for pie
Crumb mixture

Reserve 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture for the top.

This recipe makes 2 – 9″ pies. So you will need 2 unbaked pie crusts. (Click here for a recipe)

Pour about a 3/4 cup of the wet mixture into each pie crust.

Now mix your remaining crumbs with the remaining wet mixture. Divide between your two pies.

Cover with reserved crumbs.

Amish shoo-fly pie

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for an additional 30 minutes.

wet bottom Amish shoo-fly pie

This pie does not need to be refrigerated. I store mine in the pantry or on the countertop covered with a tea towel. But if you make two and don’t have a lot of people to help you eat it quickly, you can freeze one to keep it fresh.

Molasses for Amish shoofly pie

I hope you like the taste of molasses because this wet bottom Amish shoofly pie is amazing.

For this recipe, I substituted some Karo for molasses because I don’t have any light-tasting molasses. If I wanted to make it with just molasses I would try to get a light-tasting kind.

There is a big difference in molasses. Some have a lot stronger flavor than others and are more bitter. One of my favorite kinds of molasses for making shoofly pie is Golden Barrel unsulphered baking molasses. I grew up close to the Golden Barrel plant in Pennsylvania. And it’s easier to find good molasses in Pennsylvania than here in Missouri. But I can always buy it online, and sometimes I can find it at bulk food stores.

But, if you don’t like molasses, you could probably make this pie using just Karo instead of molasses, but that would not really be a shoo-fly pie.

This is the best shoofly pie Lancaster, PA! Some good Amish food!

Links to my Favorite Kinds of Molasses…

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Maybe you would also like to try a Shoofly Cake Recipe

Amish shoo-fly pie

Amish Wet Bottom Shoofly Pie

Shoo-fly pie is a traditional Amish breakfast pie with a thin layer of gooey molasses on the bottom, cake-like middle, and crumb topping. Very easy to make and is perfect with a cup of coffee.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
Course Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine Amish
Servings 2 – 9″ pies

Ingredients
  

Wet mixture:

  • 2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. light-tasting molasses (Golden Barrel unsulphered baking molasses is the best)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 c. boiling water
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

Crumb mixture:

  • 4 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • 2/3 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/3 c. lard or shortening
  • 6 Tbs. butter
  • 2 9" unbaked pie crusts

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • For the wet mixture: Add 2 c. brown sugar and eggs to a mixing bowl and beat well. Add molasses.
  • Bring water to boiling, remove from heat and add 1 tsp. baking soda. Stir.
  • Add soda/water mixture to egg mixture. Mix.
  • Let this mixture cool while you prepare the crumb mixture.
  • For crumb mixture: Mix flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, & cream of tartar in a mixing bowl.
  • Add butter (cut in slices) and shortening. Using pastry blender, mix until fine crumbs.
  • Reserve 1 1/2 c. of the crumb mixture to put on top.
  • Pour about a 3/4 c. of the wet mixture into the crust bottom of each pie dish.
  • Now pour your remaining crumbs into the remaining wet mixture. Mix together and divide between your two pies.
  • Cover with reserved crumb mixture.
  • Bake at 375° for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° and continue baking for 30 minutes.

Notes

I only had strong-tasting molasses, so I used a mixture of molasses and Karo. And if you don’t care for molasses flavor, you can replace it with Karo.
I usually bake my pies on the bottom oven rack about in the middle of the oven. It gets your bottom crust flakier and keeps tops from getting too dark.
 If you like your shoo-fly pie with lots of dry crumbs on top, just reserve more of the crumbs for the top.
This pie resembles a coffee cake. It’s an Amish breakfast pie and goes great with coffee.
We used to put ours in a bowl and pour milk over it to eat it.
Keyword Amish Breakfast Pie, Amish Shoo-fly Pie Recipe, How to make shoo-fly pie, Wet bottom shoo-fly pie recipe, What is shoo-fly pie?

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2 thoughts on “Amish Wet Bottom Shoofly Pie Recipe

  1. 5 stars
    Oh my gosh, this is the BEST SHOOFLY PIE RECIPE EVER!!!

    I grew up in a small town near Shipshewana, which is a major Amish center, so even though I’m not Amish, I went to school with dozens and dozens of Amish kids, and the whole time growing up, at different school functions and whatnot, I frequently ate shoofly pie because that’d be what they brought in or what kids/parents who used to be Amish would bring in. I even remember that Mrs. Troyer, who taught 7th grade home-ec, showed us how to make it in class once and then had us make it ourselves. Well, I eventually graduated, went to college, and then after college, I moved to another part of the country where there aren’t any Amish people, so for going on two decades now, I’ve been hankering to have me some shoofly pie, what with it not being ubiquitously around like it was for me growing up and me not knowing/remembering how to make it, despite Mrs. Troyer’s best efforts (Sorry, Mrs. Troyer). I’ve tried bakeries galore, even a specialty boutique pie shop near me, but everywhere I’ve gone, they’ve all looked at me with the same clueless and bewildered expression the moment I utter the words “shoofly pie,” like I’m speaking some foreign language.

    So, a few years ago, I began a quest to find a recipe online. I found many, but none were right, some came close but not quite close enough. That was until I came upon this one! This is EXACTLY IT! What’s more, the pie that comes about as a result is absolutely gorgeous, extremely impressive. When my guests saw it, they just oohed and ahead, it making me look like some world-class baker, which I most certainly am not. What’s more, it totally delivered in flavor, texture, and gastronomy everything its impressive gorgeousness advertised and more, cutting through three visibly distinct layers of texture, not including the crust itself, the flavor of molasses comes on at first so mildly it’s barely detectable in that first bite but then builds with every bite into an extremely rich and unmistakable yet not at all overpowering molasses flavor (Note: I ordered via the Amazon link in this recipe article the Golden Barrel Unsulfered Molasses the author recommends in the text of the article, even though I actually had Grandma’s on hand, which appears below the article as an alternative, just because I wanted it to turn out like how the author actually makes it). Absolute perfection! I was bowled over. So were my guests. What’s more, unlike every other shoofly pie recipe I’ve tried, it was exactly and totally authentic to the Amish-made shoofly pie I had growing up, for while some of those other recipes were close, none of them quite hit the mark, none of them did what this recipe did, everything about it bringing back this rush of memories and nostalgia from when I was a kid, from school bake sales, classroom parties, church potlucks, etc. SO THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! This recipe is exceptional, because the pie you get from following it is BEYOND EXCEPTIONAL!

    I do have one sidenote. It’s a little odd that this recipe calls for 1/3 and 2/3 teaspoons of things because measuring spoons don’t actually come in thirds, only quarters. That made me nervous since the things requiring those measurements include the leavening agent (baking soda) and that which controls the leavening agent (salt), baking being a rather exact chemistry when it comes to these ingredients as even being a little off on either or both can cause what you’re baking to go totally wrong, either ending up overly flat and dense, like a hockey puck, overly risen and more like cake than pie, or overly rise and then fall, so I had concerns, especially since I halved the recipe to only make one pie but didn’t notice the odd measurements for these ingredients until after I had started and it would be too problematic to then try to go back and double everything. So what I did was the math and some creative guesstimating. Half of 1/3 tsp. is 1/6 tsp., since measuring spoons only come in 1/8 tsp. and 1/4 tsp., I improvised, knowing that 1/6 is halfway between 1/8 and 1/4, or essentially 1 1/2 1/8 tsp., by putting in one level 1/8 tsp. and then using my finger to block off half of my 1/8 tsp. measuring spoon and then filling and leveling off the unblocked half and putting that amount in. Halving the 2/3 tsp. to 1/3 tsp. was more difficult because 33.3% is not exactly halfway between 25% and 50% but quite a bit less, so what I ended up doing was just using a mounding 1/4 tsp., but just a little mounding, not so mounding that the mound looked the same size of the measuring spoon beneath or even half the size but less than half the size but not so little it looked only a quarter of the size. That’s some pretty hardcore eyeballing, but it worked. Eyeballing 2/3 tsp. to make two pies, like the recipe, would require similar hardcore eyeballing, only you’d have to eyeball a mound that looked somewhere between half the size and three-quarters the size of the measuring spoon beneath. So if I were to make any suggestion for improvement to this recipe, which I’m reluctant to make because it turned out so perfect that I’d hate to mess with perfection, it would be to alter it in such a way that it used standard measuring spoon measurements divisible by two instead of nonstandard measuring spoon measurements divisible by three (e.g., 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, etc. rather than 1/6, 1/3, 2/3, etc.). But even just suggesting that, I feel like I’m looking a gift horse in the mouth.

    Because that’s what this recipe is– A GIFT!!!! AMAZING!!! Or should I say AMishAZING?!?!?!

    THANK YOU!

    THANK YOU!

    THANK YOU!

    1. I am so glad the pie turned out to be what you are looking for! I’m always glad to hear that people enjoy my recipes. Sorry about the complication with measurements. I honestly never thought of the fact that this isn’t standard spoon measurements . Because I don’t worry about exact measurements 😀, I use a teaspoon and only fill it what looks to be the right amount. Grew up with too much of a pinch of this and a dash of that😉.

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