Thursday, November 11, 2010

My belly grumbles for home: A Shout out to the PA Dutch

I love it when people ask me if I am Amish when they find out I grew up in Lancaster County, PA. Actually, if I were Amish, I would not have a blog, because they don’t use electricity. Had I been an excommunicated Amishwoman, I wouldn’t have any family discussed in my blog, because they wouldn’t be allowed to talk to me anymore.

But, I am Pennsylvania Dutch. The people called “Pennsylvania Dutch” are descendants of German-speaking settlers; the word “Dutch” is a corruption by English-speakers of the word “Deutsch,” meaning German. Pennsylvania Dutch food is hearty and filling. The cuisine often mixes sweet and savory or sweet and sour foods all in the same dish. It also loosely translates in to “the reason why I have saddlebags on my hips.”

You can thank the PA Dutch for the following foods:
• Scrapple –a pork-hybrid breakfast meat
• Rivvel soup
• Chow-chow
• Apple butter
• Shoofly pie
• Whoopie pies
• Funnel cake
• Fastnachts-Donuts that are kind of tasteless, but have a PA holiday named after them
• Apple dumplings

If you have ever heard of Shoofly Pie, but were afraid to try it, let me alleviate your fears and concerns. ITS EFFING DELICIOUS. When I lived in Georgia, I missed it so much I paid $30 to have one shipped down to me because I didn’t know how to make it. And now, to avoid the price racket the Amish have going on said mail-order pies, I give you the gift of shoofly pie. You’re welcome.

1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 tablespoons ice water
2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
Cooking spray
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons Crisco
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup molasses

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 1 cup flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl; cut in 1/4 cup shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle surface with ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time; toss with a fork until moist and crumbly (do not form a ball). Press mixture gently into a 4-inch circle on heavy-duty plastic wrap; cover with additional plastic wrap. Roll dough, still covered, to a 12-inch circle. Freeze 10 minutes or until plastic wrap can be easily removed. Remove 1 sheet of plastic wrap; fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Remove top sheet of plastic wrap. Fold edges under; flute. Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine 1 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and brown sugar in a bowl; cut in 3 tablespoons shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Combine boiling water and baking soda; stir in molasses. Pour molasses mixture into prepared crust; sprinkle flour mixture over molasses mixture. Place pie on a baking sheet; bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.

On another completely unrelated note:KEEP ME IN THE TOP 50!
If you have already wasted 2 minutes reading this post, let me bother you for another 2 seconds to hop on this link, scroll down to Glamourous Life and click the little "thumbs up" sign to vote for me:

submit to reddit


  1. Oh, my gosh, what memories this great old recipe bring bubbling up!! My mom made this and my brothers and I thought it was the absolute best pie in the world!! I think I will make it! Thanks for such a great post!

  2. Thank you Polly! I am glad someone appreciates it!