Pie #18 – My Grandma’s Shoo-Fly Pie

Tonight I tried my hand at Shoo-Fly pie. A colleague from work recommended (or dared) me to make it. I had never heard of it:)

It’s signature (heh) ingredient is molasses. I always thought molasses was thicker. Like honey. I was surprised that the consistency was more liquid. When I poured the filling into the pie shell, It was like  a soup. The recipe describes it as a layer to the crumble. It didn’t strike me as a very clearly defined layer.

When the pies were baking, the molasses aroma coming from the oven wasn’t pleasant. I thought something was burning. When I checked on the pies, a lot of the filling had bubbled over. The heat pushed a lot of the filling over the top, into the pan, with the crumble  “layer.” making a gooey looking mess in the pan underneath. From a presentation perspective this one didn’t come out well at all. And that’s mild. But I was really surprised by the taste. It was addicting. I chowed.

The crust!:

1 (9 inch) pie shell

The filling!:

1 cup molasses

3/4 cup hot water

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1 egg, beaten

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup shortening

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. To make the bottom layer: In a medium bowl combine molasses, hot water, and baking soda. Stir well. Whisk in beaten egg. Pour liquid mixture into pie shell.  It should come up about 3/4 of the way in the pie shell.

To make crumb topping: In a medium bowl combine flour and brown sugar. Mix well, then cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle on top of molasses layer. Sprinkle would be the operative word. I think I put too much on the top. Way too much.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Lower temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake an additional 30 minutes.

I wanted to bring one in to work. Not gonna happen. They look bad. And taste really good when warm. Not so much when cooled.


Pie #17 – Easy Chess Pie

Happy 1st day of Spring! I didn’t realize today was the day until I read it online. It was barely mentioned. Seems there are much bigger things to report on these days.

I’m also wrapping up a week of vacation which was nice. No, i didn’t go to SXSW. Maybe one of these days I’ll go. It falls during the kids spring break so Tammi and I took them to Six Flags Fiesta in (where else) Fiesta Texas, and the Schlitterbahn on Galveston Island. Roller Coasters and Water Slides. And ridiculous crowds, all having fun.

There was also quite a bit of gardening to be done today and it was my day to make dinner. I’m thankful that I only have to do this one day a week. I couldn’t make the pie until later in the evening. This week, I made Easy Chess Pie. It’s sweet pie but isn’t custardy or mering-y. And it is easy…

The crust!:

Yay ready-made!

The filling!:

4 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup (half a stick) butter

1 tbsp. vinegar

1 tbsp. cornmeal

1 tbsp. flour

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and blend 3 to 5 minutes until well mixed. Pour into your pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Cool before serving.

I had a small bite and it’s consistency is fluffy and the taste is sweet. I guess it tastes like Sugar Pie. Which is the name of my imaginary funk band that I just thought up. It’s been a very productive week.

Pie #16 – Buttermilk Pie

After last weeks unfortunate savory treat (which surprisingly the kids liked), I decided to make another sweet desert pie. On this lazy Sunday of daylight savings, it’ll be buttermilk pie. This is probably the easiest one I’ve made so far. No technique, just mix it up. This one comes from blogspot.

The crust!:

1 unbaked 9 inch pie shell (didn’t feel like doing scratch today so I store-bought a graham cracker crust)

The filling!:

2 cups sugar

1 stick butter, room temperature

4 tbsp. flour

3 eggs, slightly beaten (because some level of effort is needed)

1 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, blend the butter, flour and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla extract and buttermilk. Pour into the unbaked pie shell and bake for one hour at 325 degrees or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool and serve.

I took this to some friends house for their 5 year olds birthday party and they were happy with the way it came out. It has a slight crunch off the top and then a nice gooey sweetness. The graham cracker crust adds to the texture in a very good way. It beats white cake with buttermilk frosting.

Pie #15 – Weeknight Supper Pie

My first savory pie. I made this deal with Tammi that I would cook dinner one night a week when I first told her about the whole pie-thing. I get home late on weeknights and she makes dinner all the time. It was a gesture she was happy about, but unfortunately I haven’t been as dedicated to dinner as I have been with making pie once a week. The bummer part is that she’s not a huge fan of sweet pies. So tonight I thought I’d multi-task by making a dinner pie. I pulled a recipe from cooks.com called Weeknight Supper Pie. It’s a recipe that could definately be pimped. It’s an even poorer version of shepherds pie because it doesn’t have potatoes. I thought of making them on the side. You know, to be more edgy. Tammi overruled and we ended up having a salad instead. More edgy! And green!

I didn’t make pie crust from scratch this week. And for this, I am thankful…

The filling!

1/4 cup onion, minced (I used a half cup)
1 Tbsp butter
1 lb. ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp basil
1 can tomato soup (don’t go family size; a small can will do)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Pie pastry for a 2 crust pie
Saute onions in butter until soft and translucent. Add ground beef, minced garlic and basil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn up to medium high heat and brown (do not allow garlic to burn, heaven may fall).Add tomato soup, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Allow to cool.Preheat oven to 375F degrees.Line a 9 inch pie dish with pastry rolled 1/8 inch thick (or use store bought like my lazy self).Moisten edges of crust with cold water. Fill pie shell with meat mixture. Prick top crust and place over pie, brush with melted butter and bake in a preheated 375F oven for 1 hour or if you’re in a hurry, bake at 450F for 15 minutes, then decrease heat to 350 and bake 15 minutes more.Seriously, this recipe could be pimped. I may have to come back to this one with a few mods. But hey, I made dinner, so there.