Shoofly is a famous Pennsylvania Dutch molasses pie topped with buttery brown sugar crumbs. You can serve it for dessert, and some Pennsylvania Dutch people eat it for breakfast. I’ve also seen it spelled “shoo fly” or “shoo-fly,” but no matter what, it spells goodness to me! You won’t believe this is a vegan shoofly pie.
The filling is molasses with some brown sugar crumbs and baking soda mixed in, so it will rise but still remain dark, dense, and rich. This is for people who really like sweets. It’s a wet-bottom variety, meaning that there is a molten molasses layer underneath the crumb topping. The molasses layer melts down into the pie crust leaving it very thin or even soaked through in places. In dry-bottom shoofly pie, you first put a layer of the brown sugar crumbs, followed by some of the molasses filling, and so on, until you end again with the crumb topping. The result is more cake-like than the wet-bottom pies.
The kind of molasses you use will radically change this pie. I love the flavor of molasses, so I use unsulphured blackstrap molasses (I really like this brand). It’s strong, so you have to really love molasses to want it in your pie. The blackstrap molasses filling will turn out incredibly dense and molten, almost fudge-like. If you use a lighter molasses (like Grandma’s Original), it’ll still be gooey but you will get a bit more of a cake-like texture.
When I make this recipe, the filling doesn’t overflow. But there’s a lot of variables at work here, and Shoofly pies are a bit notorious for running over. You really want to put a sheet of foil (shiny side down) or an oven liner on your bottom oven rack, leaving an inch or two of space between the foil/liner and the walls and door of your oven for air circulation. This way if your pie runs over, the bottom of your oven stays clean. When you’re done, just throw away the foil or clean the oven liner. Do not line the bottom of your oven–this can be extremely unsafe and foil can get stuck to the bottom of your oven. Line the bottom rack instead.
This vegan shoofly pie recipe serves about 10. Prep time is 10 minutes. Bake time is 40-50 minutes.
I created this recipe about 9 years ago from a combination of what I liked best from my favorite shoofly pie recipes.
How I Made it Vegan
I substituted the egg that is usually used in shoofly pie with the mixture of equal parts soy flour and water. This is a common egg substitute in vegan baking, and it helps bind the pie filling together.
Other Changes I Made
Every shoofly pie recipe I know is vague about the depth of the pie crust. A 9-inch deep-dish crust can hold twice as much filling as a regular crust! Most shoofly pie recipes are of a similar volume to mine, so I believe they were developed for deep-dish crusts. I’ve been specific here so that you don’t end up having a ton of leftover filling. The consistency is also much better when you make them in deep-dish crusts. If you’re making your own crust and you have trouble finding a deep-dish pie plate in stores, you can get by with a 9-inch by 2-inch round cake pan (see photo). That size cake pan will hold the same volume (2 quarts), so this recipe will work; you’ll just have to spend more time and patch the crust up more often when you’re working with the vertical sides.
Shoofly pie recipes often assume that you already know a lot about baking, so I’ve clarified the instructions. For example, I’ve made it clear not pre-bake your pie crust. If you do pre-bake, your pie will still be good but you won’t get the gooey wet bottom we’re trying to achieve! Also, I prefer to mix the crumb topping by hand and have described how to do that in this recipe.