Shoo-Fly Pie
Feb 1st, 2011 by Alice

From Alice Enevoldsen (modified from Kitty Gift)

Shoo-fly pie
Image © 2011 Jason Gift Enevoldsen


  • ½ cup dark Karo syrup
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ½ tsp baking soda

Top (you can make a little less than this):

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup palm oil (or your favorite Butter substitute)


Make pie crust, put in pie dish. Place pie dish on a non-stick cookie sheet (you’ll thank me later).

Make top crumbs by mixing flour and brown sugar, then cutting in palm oil until it loosely clumps together.

Measure Karo and maple syrup in 2 cup glass measuring cup (to get a more barrel molasses-y flavor put in more Karo, less maple syrup, and a tablespoon or so of Grandma’s molasses. Do not use blackstrap molasses).  In 1 cup measuring cup, boil water.  Add baking soda to hot water.  Add water to molasses measuring cup and mix thoroughly.

Assemble pie by alternating layers of the liquid and the top crumbs – about 3 layers of each.

Bake at 375F for 35 minutes. (Don’t forget to have that non-stick cookie sheet under your pie, it will save you from any boil-over burning on the oven elements)

Shoo-fly pie
Image © 2011 Jason Gift Enevoldsen

I’ve taken up the Gift family torch to pass on the cult of loving shoo-fly pie to as many as possible. So far I have at least a dozen converts.

When it is described to you – “pie made with innards of brown sugar and molasses” – you have no idea what this will be like. You picture some sort of candy in a pie crust. Tasty sure, but how do you eat it? You’re completely wrong. It is a bit like cake in a pie-crust. But that doesn’t do it justice.

A note on ingredients:

This should be made with barrel molasses instead of Karo and maple syrup. Sometimes this is called Dutch barrel syrup (as in Pennsylvania Dutch – i.e. German). If you have access to this ingredient, first send me some, then make the pie with it instead. For the rest of us, the last sighting of barrel molasses was at a little Mom & Pop style general store in New Jersey. You had to bring your own containers.

You’d think molasses would be a better substitute than corn syrup, but after many, many trials I’ve determined that the closest flavor is dark Karo. There is no bite to barrel molasses, though it has a depth of flavor lacking in Karo, which is why I put in half maple syrup also. The barrel molasses is aged in barrels – giving it the name and the flavor.

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