Shoo Fly Pie Bars — A Twist on a Traditional Recipe

Turning a traditional Shoo Fly Pie into bars, this recipe has 3 parts. Tasting Shoo Fly pie with “mile high” crumb topping was my inspiration to first learn to make this dessert.

Shoo Fly Pie Bars with vodka bottle, pastry blender, serving utensil, and cutting board in backgroundWhat do you do when you promised to make your friend a pie and can’t find your rolling pin? You improvise.  My husband came to the rescue with the blue vodka bottle you see in this picture with the Shoo Fly Pie bars.

Taking a traditional Shoo Fly Pie recipe, I turned it into bars by putting my homemade pie crust in a square pan.  The blue vodka bottle worked great as a rolling pin and of course I washed it off before using it.

The green handled wire tool next to the bottle is a pastry blender.  I highly recommend this tool if you want to make your own pie crust.  It also comes in handy when mixing the crumb topping for this recipe.  If you don’t have this tool, you can use a knife and fork to achieve the same results.  You just keep pulling the knife back and forth through the fork in your crumb topping mixture until it is mixed to the desired fine crumb texture.  You will need to unclump the mixture as it sticks to the knife and fork during this process so you can keep cutting the butter into the flour and sugar.

There are 3 parts to this recipe.  The crust, the filling, and the crumbs.  You will want to make the filling first so it can cool down before adding the beaten egg, but I’ll explain later.

  • Filling–Combine 3/4 cup dark molasses, 3/4 cup boiling water, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.  Stir until the molasses is dissolved in the water.  Set aside to cool.
  • Flour crust of your choice–You can make it or buy it.  Grease your 9 x 9 baking pan (or use a round pie pan) and put your crust in the pan.  Set aside for now.
  • Crumb Topping–1 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed.  Note:  make 2 batches of this crumb topping.  One batch goes in the pie when you assemble it and the other goes on the pie once it has baked for 15 minutes.  Blend ingredients together until they are a fine crumb mixture.

Assembling your Shoo Fly Pie/Bars:

  • First, add one beaten egg to the cooled molasses mixture.  Stir in well.
  • Next, pour 1/3 of liquid into shell and sprinkle 1/3 of batch 1 crumbs on top.  Repeat 2 more times ending with crumbs on top.
  • Bake at 375 degrees F for 45 minutes.  After 15 minutes has passed, remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle on batch 2 of the crumbs.  It will be piled high.  Return to the oven and bake for the remainder of the time.
  • Near the end of the baking time, be sure to check with your nose and eyes if it is done a bit early.  You don’t want it too brown on top or the start of a burned smell in your kitchen.  Check that it is done with a toothpick inserted into the middle — should come out clean.  Also, the sides of the bars should be slightly pulling away from the pan.
  • Let cool to allow the pie/bars to set.  Adding the egg gives a “wet bottom” Shoo Fly Pie/Bar.

Shoo Fly Pie Bar piece

Shoo Fly Pie Bars have a historic base in the Pennsylvania Dutch Amish Community.  I still remember enjoying a piece of Shoo Fly pie with “mile high” crumb topping in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.  It was my inspiration to learn to make this pie.  What has inspired you to learn to bake a dessert?

Shoo Fly Bars in Pan

Author: Cindy Avery

In our retirement adventures, we are always looking for great hamburgers, out of the way places of interest, and unique shopping opportunities. Here’s hoping this information will springboard you into some fun adventures of your own.

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