Monday, March 11, 2013

Buttered Rum Shoofly Engagement Pie

The mention of Shoofly Pie, like apple butter, is usually something that results in raised eyebrows from those who haven't spent much time in the Midwest or, more specifically, around Amish country.

Essentially a molasses custard pie with a brown sugar crumb topping, this comforting late winter pie results from a combination of simple pantry ingredients coming together into what a friend  from Pennsylvania eloquently called "a sign of the end of winter, but before people were completely at ease. Nobody knew for a fact whether the weather was going to warm tomorrow or three weeks from now." The perfect harbinger of spring, but still decadent enough to warm you on a winter's night, this pie is tried and true...with a just a little modern twist in the form of a dash of rum. Don't tell the Amish. :)

This particular recipe came from  Ashley English's A Year Of Pies, which I received as a Christmas gift. A unique collection of seasonal pies, this book contains many twists on old classics and I can't wait to try recipes like Peaches and Cream Crumble Top Pie, and Chai Spice Apple Pie. While my new favorite pie crust recipe comes from The Homemade Pantry, I decided to try out English's recommended crust instead--I'd review it for you here but I forgot to add half the butter so...we won't talk about that. If I made this pie again I might actually decrease the rum just a little bit, as well as the salt. While they were perfectly complimentary flavors and a welcome update to an old classic, they were just a little bit over powering for my taste.

So, why is this an engagement pie? Well, no reason really except that it turned out to be the first thing I baked since becoming engaged!!! I just wanted to share that news with you, dear readers, and to thank everyone that has extended their well wishes to us, as you will likely be seeing a lot more from my future husband and taste-tester-to-be on The Cupcake Avenger. 

Buttered Rum Shoofly Pie

Basic All-Butter Crust (makes 2)
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter chilled and cubed
3/4 cup ice water

Mix the flour and salt together in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender or two forks, incorporate the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. slowly drizzle in the ice water, stir with a large spoon until the mixture begins to clump.

Transfer the dough onto a floured work surface and, using your hands, fold it into itself until all the flour is incorporated into the fats. The dough should come together easily but should not feel overly sticky. Divide the dough in half, shape it into two balls and pat each ball into a 1/2 inch thick disk. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp sea salt
8 Tbs (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup dark rum
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
3 large eggs, beaten

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare the crust and roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and fit it into a 9" pie pan. Trim the crust overhang to 1 inch and crimp decoratively. Place in the refrigerator.

2. Mix together the flour, sugars, spices and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender or two forks, cut in the butter until pea-sized crumbs form.

3. Bring the water and rum to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Remove from the heat and pour into a medium bowl. Whisk in the baking soda and molasses.

4. Add the eggs beating well to combine, then stir in a little more than half of the prepared crumb mixture.

5. Pour the molasses mixture into the chilled pie crust and sprinkle with the remaining crumb topping. Set the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake 45 minutes, or until the filling is set.

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