Slow down and enjoy molasses-based pie

I know a lot of people despise making pies, but I’ve grown to really enjoy it. This year, I made a total of six pies for Thanksgiving to share with my family and Joey’s throughout the weekend. I normally try making something new every year along with the old favorites, because I like experimenting.

My brother-in-law was the catalyst for one of my experimental pies this year, mentioning that he had a co-worker describe shoofly pie to him, and he was interested in trying it. Never having tried it myself, I looked it up online and was completely unsure how it would turn out, especially since the main ingredient is just molasses.

I love molasses. Molasses cookies are one of my favorite desserts of all time, but I wasn’t sure that a pie made almost exclusively out of molasses would be good. But I also love a challenge, so I decided to go for it, and it was very good.

The recipe I used was posted to Facebook by a woman named Beverly Lewis. She typed it up from the “Amish Heritage Cookbook.” I don’t have a website address for you on this one, but since I’ve never made anything like this before, I can tell you I absolutely made this one by the book. If my Mennonite roots have taught me anything, you have to trust an Amish cookbook.

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Shoofly Pie


1 cup flour

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 rounded tablespoon margarine

1 cup molasses

3/4 cup hot water

1 egg

1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in another 1/4 cup hot water

Pastry for one, 9-inch pie


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare a 9-inch pie pan with your pie crust and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cut together the flour, brown sugar and butter until it forms little crumbs and is very well-combined. Scoop out 1/2 cup of the crumbs and set them aside.

In another mixing bowl, combine the molasses, hot water, egg and baking soda dissolved in water and mix until it is fully combined. Dump the crumbs into the molasses mixture and stir to combine.

Pour the mixture into the pie shell, and top it with the 1/2 cup of crumbs you set aside.

Bake for 35 minutes or until it appears to be fairly set up (I put mine in for another 10 minutes or so since it was still pretty wobbly after 35.).

Serve with whipped cream.

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As a family, we discussed the flavor of this pie, and while it’s obviously heavy on the molasses flavor, it has a bit of fruitiness to it as well. We decided it had some of the same flavor notes as a Fig Newton. I will say, though, if you don’t like molasses, don’t even try this pie.

But if you’re like me and enjoy a good molasses cookie, you ought to give this pie a try. I especially recommend it with some whipped cream on top. That was an excellent addition to my slice (OK, slices.).

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with some great pies and good company, too.

Lindsey Young is managing editor of The Clarion, the Kansas Publishing Ventures newspaper in Andale. She can be reached at

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