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Recipe for shoofly pie with walnuts

Shoofly pie with walnutsKaroline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe/Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Makes one 9-inch pie

As you can imagine, many theories about how the name “shoofly” came to be center around keeping pesky flies away from the molasses pie. What’s known for sure is that shoofly pie is from Pennsylvania Dutch country and is a spicy molasses custard covered with brown sugar crumbs. In this version, walnuts are added to the topping, too.


¾cup flour
cup yellow cornmeal
1tablespoon granulated sugar
¼teaspoon salt
6tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut up
2tablespoons ice water mixed with 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Extra flour (for sprinkling)

1. Have on hand a 9-inch pie pan. In a bowl, whisk the flour, cornmeal, granulated sugar, and salt to blend them. With your fingers or 2 blunt knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.


2. Stir the ice-water mixture into the flour mixture with a fork until the dough comes together in clumps. Add more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if necessary. Turn out onto a lightly floured counter, shape into a flat disk, wrap in foil, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

3. On a lightly floured counter, roll the dough to a 12-inch round. Lift it onto the rolling pin and ease it into the pan. Fold the overhang under like a hem and press the rim so it is ¼-inch high. Prick the bottom well all over. Freeze for 20 minutes.

4. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Line the pastry with foil and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully lift out the foil and weights. Continue baking for 10 more minutes, or until the edges are golden. (Total baking time is 25 minutes.) Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.


1cup flour
½cup packed dark brown sugar
½teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼teaspoon ground cloves
¼teaspoon salt
6tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut up
½cup walnuts, chopped
¾cup boiling water
¾teaspoon baking soda
½cup molasses
cup dark corn syrup
Whipped cream (for serving)

1. In a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt. With your fingers or 2 blunt knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles fine crumbs. Sprinkle ⅓ cup of the crumb mixture into the crust. Toss the walnuts with the crumbs remaining in the bowl.


2. In another bowl, stir the boiling water and baking soda to dissolve the baking soda. Whisk in the molasses, corn syrup, and egg. Pour the mixture into the crust. Spoon the remaining brown sugar crumbs on top.

3. Bake the pie for 35 minutes or until the top is set.

4. Set the pie on a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream. Jean Kressy

Jean Kressy can be reached at