Shoofly Pie

Shoofly pie, a Canadian pie recipe using golden syrup

I’ve just recently gotten hooked on buying old cookbooks from the 1970’s back. In particular, cookbooks that take me back to my Canadian roots, with recipes that my grandma made and ancestors would have made. The one thing you find when you move countries is, even if you were proud of your country before, you become even more fiercely proud and protective of it.

I’m slowly making my way through these cookbooks. The upside is the simplicity of the recipes, afterall, most recipes had to just be remembered or were passed by word of mouth. The downside, you can’t find ingredients like smelt (fish), choke cherries (berry) or coot (water bird). And as some may know, even if you do have the ingredients, it never tastes quite the same, does it? Nevertheless, I’m currently making my way through ‘The Canadiana Cookbook’ by Mme. Jehane Benoit.

Shoofly Pie
Recipe type: Dessert
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • ¾ cup molasses: (I used half treacle and half golden syrup, but just treacle is fine)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ginger
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup butter
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Pastry of your choice: (I can't emphasise this strongly enough, do NOT use the frozen shortcrust puff pastry in Australia. I learnt this early on-- make your own when it comes to Canadian/ American recipes. Try Martha Stewart's Easy Pie Crust recipe.
  1. Stir soda into molasses until foamy.
  2. Add water, salt, ginger and set aside.
  3. Mix flour, brown sugar and cinnamon.
  4. (in other bowl), cut in the butter, and mix until crumbly.
  5. Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry and pour in ⅓ of the molasses mixture.
  6. Sprinkle ⅓ of the crumb mixture over and continue alternating layers with crumbs as top layer.
  7. Bake at 375oF (190oC ) for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

This recipe is traditionally Pennsylvanian Dutch.

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