The shoofly pie is one of the most famous foods to come from the early American settlers called the Pennsylvania Dutch. It is a gooey, fluffy molasses pie. Since there many different groups of Dutch spread into the American South, shoofly pie is also well known in southern cooking. The sticky, sweetness in this pie comes from molasses.
This pie was most likely created by the Pennsylvania Dutch, who immigrated from Germany to the area now known as Pennsylvania. With them, they brought an ingenious concoction known as shoofly pie. This pie is still made today by the Amish in the region, and people come from miles around just for a taste.
The ingredients for a shoofly pie are very simple, easily accessible and keep for a very long time. This may be why the recipe is so popular with the Amish, who typically don't use electricity. These sweet pies mostly consist of sugar, molasses, shortening, and flour. A crumb mixture is usually made out of the flour, brown sugar, and shortening, and put into a pie crust. Some of the crumb mixture is reserved for the top of the pie. The filling is made from the molasses and, depending on the recipe, other ingredients, such as egg.
A shoofly pie can be made a couple of different ways. The most common form of this molasses pie is known as "wet bottom pie." This type, which closely resembles a coffee cake, is comprised of a thick layer of molasses filling with a crumb topping. A "dry bottom pie" version also exists, which incorporates the crumb topping into the filling. This type of pie has more of a cake-like texture to it. Chocolate shoofly pies can be made by adding a layer of chocolate icing on the top.
The actual name "shoofly pie" did not appear in print until 1926. Where this pie get its name is still a point of debate. The most obvious reason for the name stems from the days when pies were cooled on window sills. The sticky sweetness of the pie attracted so many flies, colonial women were constantly shooing them away. Another theory states that shoofly may be a mispronunciation of a foreign word, perhaps souffle. One more theory on how this pie got its name reasons that it was named after a brand of molasses. Shoofly Molasses was a popular seller in the 18th century.