I LOVE Shoo Fly Pie. If you asked a bunch of people for a couple of thoughts about food in central PA, shoo fly pie is likely to be an answer. However, and I know frequent readers of the blog will not be surprised by this, I'm picky about my shoo fly. I don't like shoo fly cake. I don't like a pie that has a soggy crust. I don't like a high crumb to molasses ratio. And so on..... In case anyone is wondering, I have 'taste tested' every shoo fly pie available at the York Fair. Yeah, I know. Crazy.
So....I've wanted to create the ultimate shoo fly experience. Inspiration comes in many forms and I'm constantly inspired by the raw products that surround me, the terroir AND my area's food heritage. Shoo fly is a huge part of that story(scrapple is too....look for my ideas on scrapple in a future post). In considering shoo fly flavors and texture, I was stuck on the idea that a bunch of pies that I've tasted come out dry. Basically, too much crumb. AND....I didn't want to simply produce a pie. So, what to do, what to do? First stop: Source a great molasses. I am fortunate to be able to buy sorghum molasses from my good friend Josiah Martin. Josiah's uncle makes the most amazing sorghum molasses that has a great color and flavor....It's not bitter, but also not too cloyingly sweet. So, molasses, check. Next stop? What flavors would go with shoo fly? Shoo fly is a pretty sweet flavor profile, so I decided to go two ways. One was to make a red wine caramel. The other was to take a dice of fresh apple. Now, I have a balance to the sweet with the red wine caramel and apple, a little crunch with the apple. One final touch? Salt. All that sugar needs a little salt to balance it, so I thought of brown butter roasted pecans tossed with salt and sugar. OK. On to the shoo.
Ever have fried ice cream? If you have, you're seeing where I'm going with this one. I made a sorghum molasses ice cream. Made the crumb topping traditionally associated with shoo fly pie(although I like to add malted milk to my crumb mixture....sue me) Once the ice cream was solid, we scooped it out and coated it with the shoo crumb mixture. Frozen solid. THEN.....dropped into 375 degree oil and fried until crispy and golden brown. HELLO LOVER!!!
Here are a couple of shots of the finished dish, but you really need to get your butt to the Mansion and eat this dish. It is warm, cold, sweet, salty, amazing, Eat Like You Live Here food!