Sunday, March 1, 2020

Wilfred's Shoo Fly Pie and a Book #Giveaway from Peggy Ehrhart

A very warm welcome to Peggy Ehrhart, author of the Knit & Nibble Mysteries. She has outdone herself today with a fabulous step-by-step guide to baking a Shoo Fly Pie. It sounds and looks delicious. And don't miss entering her giveaway of A FATAL YARN.

In A Fatal Yarn, Bettina’s sweet husband Wilfred bakes a shoo fly pie when the Knit and Nibblers meet at the Frasers’ house. As he explains, it’s an Amish recipe—and delicious as it is, it’s an example of make-do cooking when there’s no fresh fruit or much else available for pie fillings. Now we can get almost any fruit or vegetable at almost any time in our supermarkets, but in the past cooking had to be seasonal.
The key ingredients are brown sugar, molasses, egg, and baking soda. The name reportedly alludes to the fact that a pie made with little but molasses and brown sugar would inevitably draw flies when cooled on a porch or windowsill.
This version of the pie bakes up with an almost cake-like texture. Another version, known as “wet-crust,” features a soggy bottom.
You’ll need a deep-dish pie pan.
For the pie dough:
1 ¼ cups sifted flour
¼ tsp. salt
4 oz. cold butter—one stick
3 to 5 tbsp ice water
1 egg yolk, slightly beaten (optional)
For the filling:
½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup molasses
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 ½ tsp flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup boiling water
For the topping:
1 ½ cups flour
¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
¾ tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
6 tbsp cold butter
First make the pie dough:
Sift the flour and salt into a medium sized bowl. Add the butter cut into chunks.
Use your fingers to work the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture looks crumbly.
Sprinkle the ice water over the flour mixture while tossing with a fork until the dough clings together but isn’t wet.
Flour your hands and mold the dough into a ball. Wrap it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 20 minutes.
Note that this dough uses butter as shortening rather than vegetable shortening or lard and it has a larger proportion of shortening to flour than usual, so it’s a good idea to chill it before you roll it out.
Make the filling:
Mix brown sugar, molasses, egg, flour, and baking soda.
Add the boiling water and stir thoroughly. Set the filling aside.
Make the topping:
Mix flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter cut into chunks and work it in as you did for the pie crust. Set the topping aside.
Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
Prepare the pie crust:
With your hands, press the chilled dough into a flat disk. Use flour liberally to keep the dough from sticking to your work surface and to your hands.
Roll the pie dough into a circle about 14” in diameter. Continue to use flour to keep the dough from sticking—both to your rolling pin and to your work surface. To easily transfer the rolled-out dough to the pie pan, fold it into quarters and then unfold it in the pie pan.
Turn under the crust that overhangs the edge of your pie pan and use two fingers of your left hand and your right thumb to make a decorative border.
Shoo fly pie filling is very liquid, so in order to prevent your crust from becoming soggy, prebake the crust before adding the filling and topping. To do this, line the crust with foil and fill the foil with dried beans or peas.
I have a special jar of split peas and lentils that I’ve used for this purpose for decades.
Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven and remove the foil and dried beans or peas from the crust. Optionally, brush the bottom and sides of the partly baked crust with the slightly beaten egg yolk. This step helps keep the crust from becoming soggy. Return the crust to the oven and bake it for 5 more minutes.
(If you skip the egg yolk step, bake the crust for 20 minutes with the foil and beans or peas in it.)
Remove the crust from the oven and turn the oven down to 350 degrees.
Add the  filling and then the topping.
Smooth the topping to cover the whole pie. Return the pie to the oven and bake it for 45 minutes. Remove it from the oven.
Let the pie cool before cutting into it, though it’s good served a bit warm.
Top each slice with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. If you’re using whipped cream, a teaspoon of sugar per cup of cream is plenty.
 Enter Peggy's giveaway of A FATAL YARN by leaving a comment below with your email address so she can find you if you win. Good Luck!


  1. Thanks for the recipe and the giveaway. And I learned something new about baking pies today. I'll have to get some split peas and lentils. ckmbeg (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. Wow, I haven't had shoo fly pie since I was a kid. My grandmother who was originally from Pennsylvania used to make it. Thanks for the recipe, I will have to try it out. longbarb11 [at] aol [dot] com

  3. Thanks for the chance to win one of your wonderful books!!

  4. That recipe sounds interesting. Thanks for the chance at the book.

  5. I tried shoofly pie once and it was too sweet for me.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  6. Welcome today. This looks like a wonderful recipe. I had some when I was much younger but never got the recipe. Have to try this now. Thanks. I enjoyed the chat. Thanks for the review. I love this cover. And the books sounds like fun. quilting lady 2 at comcast dot net

  7. Taylor R. WilliamsMarch 1, 2020 at 11:39 AM

    I love shoo-fly pie - and I bet I will love the book too - thanks for the chance to own it - trwilliams69(at)msn(dot)com

  8. I went to college in central Pennsylvania. We had a farmer's market in town with wonderful Amish offerings. My favorite was snitz pies--hand-held pies filled with a dried apple mixture.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  9. The book and the pie recipe look great! Have yet to read this author who is on my TBR. Do hope this will be a start. As for that pie recipe. Yes. We always have those ingredients on hand. My son is feeling like cooking. So hoping. bessdeepotter84 at gmail dot com

  10. I've always wondered about shoo-fly pie. Looks interesting, I'll have to try it. And the book sounds amazing.

  11. I have read about this pie and always been amused by the name, but I have never tried it. This recipe doesn't look so difficult to try. Thanks for sharing it.
    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

  12. The pie looks great. I will have to try the recipe soon. Thanks.

  13. I'm looking forward to reading the book, and thanks for the recipe! cwsullivan53 at gmail dot com

  14. Please enter me.
    clarksrfun at gmail dot com

  15. Tried Shoo Fly pie once. Thought it was great. I love the cover of your new book Fatal Yarn.

  16. I’ve never tried shoo-fly pie even though I’ve been to restaurants that serve it. I guess now that I’m retired, I should try to make my own.

  17. My friend brought a shoo fly pie from Lancaster county into NYC for me, the morning of Sept 11. Luckily my friend and I both made it out of the city unharmed. The boxed pie sat at my desk above Madison Square Garden for 3 days before I got back. It still tasted good but I never had it again. I think I am going to taste your recipe and move on from associating it with my mixed feelings from that both terrible and unifying time. I still take the train into the city to see clients from time to time. I still read paperback cozy mysteries. Going to try your pie and your book!

  18. Thank you for the chance to win the new book and for the recipe.

  19. What a yummy recipe! The book sounds great too. Legallyblonde1961 at yahoo dot com

  20. The pie looks so enticing. I would enjoy the pie and the book very much. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  21. Yum! Something new to try. Thank you for sharing!

  22. Pie looks great and book sounds good! I'd love to try them both. Thanks 😊

  23. Thanks for the detailed instructions and pictures. Love your books, Karen harris

  24. I love that you post recipes of ingrediants that my husband and i haven't used in ages and that is molasses. I have RSD with both hands crippled so my hubby does the cooking and i try to pull out the ingrediants that are needed with my handi puller picker upper! Peggy Clayton

  25. Yum, Peggy. What a great recipe! Welcome to MLK. ~ Daryl Sharing on my FB author page.

  26. Something tells me I wont find a diabetic friendly recipe for this.
    Theresa Norris
    weceno at yahoo dot com

  27. I've never had shoo-fly pie, sounds interesting. Looking forward to "A Fatal Yarn", sounds like a great addition to the series.

  28. This would be a pie for the family to enjoy. So tempting. The book is wonderful. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  29. My grandmother in South Carolina used to make Shoofly pie. Can't wait to read the book.

  30. Thanks for the recipe for the shoo-fly pie and the giveaway. myrifraf (at) gmail (dot) com

  31. I don't know if I have ever had shoofly pie before. It sound interesting. Thanks for the giveaway. lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  32. Thanks for coming on Mystery Lover's Kitchen today. I've heard of Shoofly Pie before,but I've never tried it. I'm huge fan of molasses and Pie .I will definitely be trying this recipe soon. I love how bright and lively your book cover looks!

  33. Welcome! I was always fascinated by shoo fly pie after reading a Lois Lenski book in elementary school. The recipe looks good. Thanks for the chance to win! Jholden955(at)gmail(dot)com

  34. this sounds like a cool book I never had shoofly pie

  35. Book sounds great. cheetahthecat1986ATgmailDOTcom

  36. Thanks for the recipe and the giveaway. suefoster109 at gmail dot com

  37. Your recipe sounds delicious.

  38. Your recipe sounds delicious.

  39. That looks so good! I would love to read this!! jeaniedannheim (at) ymail (dot) com

  40. I love shoe fly pie would love to win thanks
    Angelcake12 at optonline dot net

  41. Haven't had shoo-fly pie in ages, so thanks for the reminder, Peggy! The new book sounds great! lola777_22 at hotmail dot com

  42. So, that's what's in Shoo-fly pie. kckendler at gmail dot com.

  43. I've never had shoo fly pie. Looks tasty.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

  44. Thanks for the recipe and for the chance to win. Katherinestamps at msn dot com