Shoo Fly Pie

This is the iconic PA Dutch pie.  Shoo fly pie has the goodness of a molasses crumb cake baked into a pie.  Leave it to the PA Dutch to combine the best of both worlds.

This recipes makes two 9 inch deep dish pies, so prepare two pie plates with a crust.

2 cups flour
1 T salt
2/3 cups Butter-flavored Crisco, divided
5-7 T ice water
1 egg

Combine flour and salt. Cut in 1/3 cup of the Crisco with a pastry blended until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Cut in remaining Crisco until coarse crumbs form. Stir in egg. Add 1 T of water at a time and mix lightly until a dough holds together. A light hand at mixing pie dough is better, because it’s those little clumps of shortening that make for a flaky pie crust. Over-mixing will create a tough pie crust. Divide dough into two equal size disks. Flour your rolling surface and place one disk in the center. Lightly sprinkle disk with flour and also flour your rolling pin too. Roll out dough to fit a 9″ deep dish pie plate. Continue with second disk and line a second deep dish pie plate.

4 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 T baking soda
1 cup butter or 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening

Combine flour, sugar and baking soda in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blended until coarse crumbs form.

2 cups unsulphured molasses ( I use the darkest molasses I can find)
2 cups warm water
1 egg
2 tsp. baking soda

Combine molasses, water, egg and baking soda in large bowl. The molasses and baking soda fizz a bit upon contact – it’s normal. Mix well.

To assemble pies: Add half the crumb mixture to the filling and stir only few times. Pour filling into unbaked pie shells, filling a little over half full. Sprinkle remaining crumbs over both pies to fill pies to the top. (depending on your pie plate size, you may not use all of the filling.

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes for 35-40 minutes, until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Helpful hint: Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and place unbaked pies on the cookie sheet to bake, in case pie filling boils over while baking.


Zucchini Cake

This is a recipe my Mom had in her recipe collection.

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar, plus 2 T sugar separate
3 tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. cinnamon, add 2 tsp. to batter and  1 tsp to sprinkle on top of cake batter
2 cups shredded zucchini
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Mix all ingredients and stir well. Grease and flour a 13 X 9 rectangular baking pan. Pour batter into prepared pan. In a small bowl mix chopped walnuts and 2 T sugar. Sprinkle walnut/sugar mixture over the top of the bake batter and sprinkle with reserved 1 tsp. cinnamon. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Check with a toothpick, if toothpick comes out clean its done.

Blueberry Crunch

Loretta’s friend, Connie, gave me this recipe.

1 can crushed Pineapple & juice
3 cups Blueberries
3/4 cup cup sugar
1 box Yellow Cake Mix
1 stick of butter, melted
1 cup Pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease 11 x 13 pan.
Pour pineapple, juice and all into pan.
Spread blueberries on top of pineapple.
Sprinkle Cake mix over the top.
Drizzle butter on top of cake mix.
Cover with pecans.

Bake for 35-40 minutes.

After the first 25 minutes, Take a spoon and cut all down into the cake to release the juices, then, continue to bake.

Pumpkin Bars

This recipe came from the back of a can of pumpkin decades ago. I have made it decreasing the oil to 3/4 cup and it still turns out moist. This is a very easy snack cake to prepare. I used to make it often for my kids when they were school age, because they loved to eat it after school.

2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. each of baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 c. vegetable oil
1 – 16 oz. can of pumpkin (2 cups)
4 eggs
1/2 c. chopped nuts
1/2 c. raisins

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 15 X 10 pan or a 13 X 9 pan (I just spray it with Pam). Combine all ingredients, except nuts and raisins.
Beat at low speed until moistened. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Stir in nuts and raisins. Pour into greased pan. Bake 25-30 minutes.
(may take up to 45-50 minutes depending on your oven). Check with toothpick.

Frost cooled bars with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup margarine (softened)
1 – 3 oz. pkg. cream cheese (softened)
1 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat all ingredients until smooth

* Pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting must be stored in the refrigerator.

Molasses Cake

This recipe was in my Mom’s recipe collection and it states it came from her cousin, Orphelia.

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup molasses
1 cup lukewarm water
1 tsp baking soda
2 3/4 cups flour

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour

Cream together shortening and sugar in large mixing bowl. Add eggs and molasses. Dissolve baking soda in lukewarm water, add to mixing bowl. Add flour and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured 13 x 9 pan. In a small bowl mix brown sugar and flour to make crumb topping. Sprinkle crumb topping on top of cake batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Test with a toothpick. Remove from oven and cool.

A note at the bottom of the recipe states that Orphelia used 3/4 cup molasses and 1/4 King’s Table Syrup (link here to show what it is)

Funny Cake

Funny cake is one of those uniquely PA Dutch desserts, it’s a cake baked in a pie shell, with a gooey chocolate layer between the cake and pie shell.  PA Dutch doesn’t necessarily mean Amish or Mennonite, it’s all those little nooks and crannies in PA with people of German ancestry, who were the original settlers in PA.   My ancestors arrived in the late 1700s and even my father grew up speaking both PA Dutch and English. The food is hearty, country fare and the PA Dutch people like their cakes and pies. The ones I grew up around (my large extended family) like to eat cake and pie with breakfast or often for breakfast.

2 – 9″ unbaked pie shells (if in a hurry use 2 deep dish frozen pie crusts)

Cake Batter

2 1/4 cups flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
2/3 cup shortening
1 tsp. salt
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Beat all ingredients together, then add

1/2 cup milk
3 unbeaten eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat until batter is smooth. Divide batter evenly into the unbaked pie shells. It’s helpful to set the unbaked pie shells on a parchment paper lined large cookie sheet. Pull out your oven rack and place the cookie sheet on the oven rack, then carefully pour the funny cake liquid on the cake batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Test cake with a toothpick. The chocolate layer produces a marbled effect through the cake and a gooey chocolate layer settles in the bottom.

Funny Cake Liquid

1/2 cup Hershey’s baking cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients in a large measuring cup or a medium size mixing bowl. Do not cool. Pour hot liquid over the cake batter in the pie shells.

Moist Chocolate Cake

This chocolate cake recipe is an old favorite of mine from my childhood. My Aunt Marion, one of the most talented cooks and bakers ever, gave this recipe to my Mom. This is the first cake recipe I ever mixed and baked on my own when I was probably about 9 or 10 years old.

1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 c. sugar
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 c. cocoa (Hershey’s baking cocoa)
1 c. milk
1 c. hot coffee
2 unbeaten eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Mix all ingredients in order. Alternate milk and hot coffee and mix in slowly a little bit at a time. Add the eggs and vanilla. Batter will be very runny. Makes a 13 x 9 or two 9 in round cake pans. Bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes. Frost with buttercream icing.

Buttercream frosting

3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup margarine or butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients until smooth and of an easy spreading consistency. (I just pour my vanilla extract in without measuring, so up to 2 teaspoons is fine).