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

Easy Rhubarb Cake Everyone Loves

Easy to make rhubarb cake and topping that will become a repeat favorite of yours.

Picture of cookbook, "Thank Heaven for Homemade Cooks"

Sharing this recipe brings back lots of memories.  Memories of friends enjoying this dessert. Special memories of how I came across this recipe.

My Grandma Novella just had to have the new Saline County (Illinois) Homemakers Extension Association cookbook. Cover Page of cookbook, "Thank Heaven for Homemade Cooks," compiled by Saline County Extension Homemakers Association Granny was so excited about this cookbook that both my sister and I purchased one while visiting.  I have found many good recipes in this cookbook and find it is a go to resource when looking for a recipe to try.  For historical reference, I have included a picture listing the association board members.  Saline County Homemakers Extension Association Board members

 

 

 

 

 

 

This page also gives you an idea where Saline County is located in beautiful Southern Illinois.

As promised in a previous post, I am sharing this recipe. It is super easy to make and rather than an icing has a topping.   I hope you and yours will enjoy this as much as we have, and that this becomes a repeat favorite of yours. Folks who typically don’t like rhubarb will like this!

Rhubarb Cake recipe by Joan Levy

It is always a good idea to read a new recipe through all the way before making it.  Follow the directions by mixing the starred ingredients first.  For the buttermilk, I always make my own with 1 tablespoon lemon juice per cup of milk and let stirred mixture set 5 minutes.  Note:  this recipe calls for 2 cups of buttermilk.  I also want to point out that this is a large recipe–use a large mixing bowl.  Rather than using an 8×8 and 9×13 pan, I have used a large roasting pan to make one cake.  You could choose to make whatever sizes of cakes you have pans for.  While the cake is baking, I like to mix the topping so it is ready when I need it.  Butter is not a listed ingredient, but you would have caught that when you read the recipe before making it.  When you pull the cake from the oven and find it is done, gently and slowly rub the stick of butter across the top of the cake.  Then, add your already prepared topping.  This rhubarb cake is great warm or cold!

I had planned to make this cake and take a picture to show you, but I’m waiting for my rhubarb to grow back.  We shared our rhubarb with my mother-in-law to make her rhubarb freezer jam.  What is your favorite recipe using rhubarb?