Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Winning Pie!

Okay, getting back to the pie contest. Yes, I know it has been a while, but judging this one wasn't as simple as drawing paper slips. I actually had to cook and eat these pies, something that is usually best spread out over a few days.

So, earlier this month, after reading the comments regarding your selections for the pie contest, I chose a number of pies from them to test and taste. I baked those 'chosen-pies'--or in some cases didn't bake the pies--over the course of this week and finally, I have one pie that stood out as a winner.

It wasn't an easy choice, there were a lot of really great entries and they were notable for such a wide variety of reasons that judging them ended up being very tough. All the pies I made were great, but one stuck out. It was really easy to make (this wasn't a point I judged the pies on, though it is certainly a bonus), it is unique, the pie's background is interesting and of course, it is darn tasty.

I've never had anything like it. It struck me as a bit of a cross between pecan pie (minus the pecans), sticky toffee pudding and gingerbread. Gooey on the bottom, a moist cake-like layer and then a sprinkling of crumbles on top. I thought it was good plain... then I had some lightly sweetened whip cream with it. So good! I can only imagine what it would be like with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream... nom.

Anyway, if you haven't already guessed. It is Sallie's Shoo Fly Pie! Congratulations, Sallie!

I ate a quarter of the pie in one afternoon. Seriously.

That's one dangerous pie.

What surprised me about this pie was the sweetness, or rather, how not overwhelmingly sweet it was. With all the sugary syrups involved, Mr. Humble and I had both anticipated a really sweet dessert. However when we sat down with our slices of pie this week, we were pleasantly surprised by the pie's coy sweetness and how well balanced it is with the spices.

So making this pie...

Sadly, King Syrup or Golden Barrel Table Syrup isn't readily available in my area, so I followed Sallie's recommendation for a substitution. (I used roughly 1/3c Light Corn syrup, 1/3c Molasses and 2 Tablespoons Honey. Those outside of the U.S., one should be able to substitute golden or invert syrup for the corn syrup and dark treacle for the molasses.)

“Here's to you, Harold Jamieson" Shoo Fly Pie

by Sallie (Original post can be found Here)

Crust & Crumbs:
1 8"-9" pie crust

1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons shortening (or butter, which I used)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves

Preheat oven to 400°. Line an 8” or 9” pie plate with pastry and flute edges. Whisk together all of the above dry ingredients then cut in shortening or butter with pastry blender until it has appearance of crumbs.

(Optional note from Ms. H: You might consider a partial blind baking of the crust before filling and baking. Not all pie pans are created equal and with a wet filling like this, some may have a little trouble.)

3/4 cup King Syrup or Golden Barrel Table Syrup*
3/4 cup hot water
1 well beaten egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda

(*substitutions listed above, in the main part of the post)

Combine the syrup and hot water then stir in the baking soda, vanilla and egg. Place a third of the crumbs in a layer on the bottom of the pie shell.

Pour about half the syrup over the crumbs.

Layer in another third of the crumbs followed by the remaining syrup. Scatter the remaining crumbs over the entire top. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° and bake for 20-25 more minutes. Remove pie from oven and let cool on rack.

Marvel at how warm and cozy your kitchen smells for about 10 minutes before cutting a slice and burning your mouth.

I agree with Sallie that this pie is best served still slightly warm. Naked though? Certainly it is very good, but how can you resist an opportunity to use whipping cream?! LOTS and LOTS of whipping cream.

Mr. Humble helped himself to a huge slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Me, I'm partial to whipping cream with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

This is one recipe I'm happy to have added to my books. Now I'm off to have another slice...

Sallie (see, I'm spelling your name right this time around), I'll be in contact with you via email soon.


  1. This pie sounds great! I might even be able to get my non-pie eating spouse to try it.

    You mentioned sticky toffee pudding in the main part of the post, do you happen to have a recipe for it? I've heard great things about sticky toffee pudding and would like to try, but am unable to find a recipe that seems "quality" (if that makes any sense).

    Thanks!!! Oh, I love the blog and the inspiration it provides.

  2. That looks awfully good. I'm going to have to get some guests over here, so I'm not tempted to eat the whole thing myself.

  3. Wow, I can barely belive you actially cooked all those!! Impressive! And congrats to the winning pie!

  4. I would like to try Sallie's pie. Loved the story with it too. Congrats Sallie! This must have been tough though. Such great submissions.

  5. Congrats to Sallie! This does sound great!

  6. kudos to sallie & the lovely story behind the pie!
    this is on my "to bake very soon" list...

    re: blind bake... would one brush a thin layer of egg wash at bottom of crust after?

    ms.h...speaking of need a create a humble cookbook...YES!

  7. I wish i was your neighbor...cuz i'm sure you'd share that delicious looking pie!! Thanks for inspiring me to get out the pie pans this weekend. And hey -- those are wonderful photos, too. Nice job!

  8. So glad to see a shoo-fly as the winner! I grew up on Shoo-fly pie, come from a long line of Pennsylvania Dutch bakers... My Nana's pie was the best but this looks like it might give hers a running!!

  9. Awesome! So this pie looks very calorie ridden...hmm..maybe if I walk and eat at the same time...?

  10. This pie looks phenomenal! I must make it and then resist eating the entire thing...

  11. This looks absolutely delish! I'm really eager to make this pie now!

    lily_rose21: if I may? I made STP from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Rose's Heavenly Cakes cookbook and made substitutions depending on the ingredients I had on hand and it turned out so yummy, my family ate the whole thing in one evening! (I blogged about it too if you want to see exactly which substitutions I made...or you can just follow the recipe to your content!)

  12. I second the Rose Levy Beranbaum recommendation. Her cake books are fantastic.

  13. I just found your site and love shoo-fly pie. I can't wait to try this recipe!

  14. Congratulations to the winner!

    The pie suonds so Christmas-like for me about the spices in it. Do I think right?

  15. The spices do give the pie a fall/winter flair but I would still welcome a slice of this pie at my breakfast table year round.

  16. I would, too, but I'm a muesli/yoghurt/making a dash for working - type woman in the mornings :(

  17. Wow!! I had no idea what shoo fly pie taste like. I've heard of it but never tried it. You explained it really well. Now I want myself a slice!
    Would you mind checking out my blog? :D

  18. OMG - I have got to show this to my husband. Everytime we go back to his home town in Pa. we come back with a shoofly pie.

  19. I've never heard of shoofly pie - looks really good. I need to make it!

  20. Thanks for baking most of our pies! Congrats, Sallie!

  21. Congrats to the winning pie! Am definitely going to make it myself. But for breakfast. :)

  22. Great entry. Shoo-Fly pie is absolutely an obsession for us here in Lancaster, PA. It can be found on almost every restaurant dessert menu and certainly in all of our bakeries (and there are a LOT of those). The original post stated that we in Lancaster love it moist which is absolutely true. The more moist the pie, the less we need the whipping cream (however my Mom will always use it anyways).

  23. My husband and I just finished eating two slices of this fresh out of the oven (well, he had two, technically), and we can see why it won--this pie is *incredible*!!

    Officially added to my list of "yummy things to impress relatives with at holidays". :D

  24. cool cant wait to bake it!


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