Thursday, October 15, 2009

Shoo Fly Pie

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

Yeah, I wish I could claim it, but this gem goes to Da Vinci. However, I have to say that this quote rang through my head when I was considering shoo fly pie on our menu.

I love shoo fly pie and have since I was a kid. In Lancaster County and the surrounding area, restaurants and stores can be known for their pies and whether or not they have a dense crumb or have more of the 'goo'. I have a high school friend who now lives in California and is after me to send him my recipe for shoo fly pie so he can make a taste of home in Cali.(It's coming.)

As Fall rolls in on us in Central PA, I get the itch for shoo-fly. I suppose you could bake a shoo-fly any time of the year, but for some reason, Fall makes me crave the molasses and crumb. It just fits.

So, I'm considering how to put shoo-fly pie on the menu. Can I blow it apart and do a interpretation of shoo-fly? Well, yes I can, but I want to? No. This is when the quote hits me. Some things shouldn't be overthought and overwrought. Shoo-fly pie is one of these things. However, it needs to be done perfectly to be relevant. So, what is the perfect shoo-fly pie?

Perfect shoo steps. 1) Flaky, sweet crust. Check. 2) 3/4 goo level.(high quality molasses is KEY here. The 'goo' is basically molasses bound with a little egg. Hint...a little bitter goes a long way to round out the over the top sweetness. What's bitter? Coffee......) Check 3) 1/4 crumb level what has move flavor than simply brown sugar and flour. Check. OK, so I've got what I consider to be the perfect shoo pie.(I like the goo level and can't stand a dry shoo fly pie)

So, now the pie is out of the oven....what can go with it? Well, I decided on a little caramel sauce, some cinnamon stick ice cream and chocolate crumbles. No bells and whistles, just basically a slice of pie and ice cream...but a damn good slice of pie and ice cream. When you've got two major components in a dish you have no room for error. The pie must be perfect. The ice cream must have just enough spice to cut the sweetness of the pie and caramel. No room for error.

I love this dish....not sure I love it more than the sticky bun with white chocolate ice cream, but I love it. Don't ask me to choose between my kids.


Tammy said...

I may have to talk Rich into bringing me up to Hanover soon! Shoo Fly Pie - YUM!!! And lots of goo and crumbs - a must.

Beau said...

Shoo-Fly of the very few desserts that are mind-numbingly, whole-'nuther-dimension delicious despite the fact that they don't contain any chocolate (generally a prerequisite for yours truly)! Speaking of which--ever have chocolate shoo-fly pie??

Brings back great childhood memories of time spent with the Amish neighbors--talk about the absolute beauty of simplicity.