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Wet Bottom Shoofly Pie

Makes two 10-inch pies

My grandmother's recipe for Pennsylvania Dutch wet bottom shoofly pie was lost years ago and, although we all loved the pie, my mother did not make it often enough to recreate it. So I started a search and, after experimenting with several recipes, Mom said this tasted most like the pie my grandmother used to make. It is based on a recipe I found in a Berks County community cookbook, attributed to Nettie A. Kauffman. The 'wet bottom' differentiates this from dry bottom shoofly pies and cakes because there is a gooey bottom layer that forms when the pie bakes. For a dry bottom example, see my Nana's Molasses Cake, which is actually a pie, in the similar and related recipes. Shoofly pie is often served for breakfast, but it makes a delicious dessert. Take note that this recipe calls for ten-inch pie shells. Do not attempt to use nine-inch pans. I did that the first time I made it and the filling dripped all over my oven. What a mess.




Preheat oven to 350° F. Place the pie shells on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any filling that might overflow. Mix the ingredients for the crumbs with your fingers until it forms fine crumbs; set aside.

Mix together the molasses, brown sugar and egg with a whisk until smooth. Gradually add the baking soda to the boiling water, being careful as it will foam; stir well until dissolved. Gradually add the water mixture to the molasses mixture and stir well to combine. Pour half of the liquid into each pie shell. Top each pie with equal portions of crumbs. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the top is dry. Remove from oven and place on baking racks to cool before slicing and serving.