I've spoken many times about my obsession with food from the Southern United States. From a purely surface view, the lyrical names always draw me in and upon closer inspection, the list of ingredients could have you either running away scared at the amount of butter and sugar or running towards it in a slightly perverse way. Of course I'm the latter.
Originally a recipe from the Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish, the Shoo-fly Pie (named because of the flies that it tends to attract that need to be "shooed" away) is a molasses pie with a delicious crumble topping. I confess that I do have an ulterior motive. It's getting cold here in Sydney - seemingly suddenly so - and last night when I woke up at 4am I looked at the ceiling to where we have the weather projected from our weather station clock and saw that the dreaded numbers flip from 11.0 degrees to 10.9. Abominable really. And may I add we are supposed to still in Autumn?
If you make your own crust, it is a bit of a production and for this recipe I've just specified that you buy a pre-made crust so that the pie is incredibly easy to do). I tried to do something fancy with the crust, for no reason but to be decorative but it turned it from a very easy pie into a huge production. Nevertheless once cooked, I stuck my fork into the pie to see what it was like. The grainy sand part on top is a delicious, buttery crumble topping, but the molasses layer underneath is thick and rich and smokey. My husband gulped it down, loving the sweetness. I liked the first few bites but found myself worrying about my blood sugar levels half way through. And we know that's no way to truly embrace Southern Cuisine.
Wet Bottom Shoo-fly Pie
An original recipe by Not Quite Nigella
- 1 pre-baked shortcrust pastry crust
3/4 cup/6 fl oz molasses
3/4 cup/6 fl oz water
1 teaspoon bi carbonate of soda
2 cups/8oz plain flour
3/4 cup dark brown sugar or muscovado sugar
125g/4oz cold, unsalted butter cut into 1cms cubes
Step 1 - In a bowl place molasses and boiling water. Sprinkle bicarb on top and it will foam.
Step 2 - In a food processor blitz flour, dark brown sugar and butter cubes until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Step 3 - Pour the molasses mixture on the bottom of the cooked crust. Then sprinkle the flour mixture on top of the molasses mixture evenly. Bake in a 180C/350F oven for 35-40 minutes until the filling is set. Cool and then slice.