This sweet pie is a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition. It is quick to go together, needs neither refrigeration, nor a long chilling down before consuming it, pleases most everyone and best of all it can be made in any season; no fruit needed. It wasn’t too hard to change from my old recipe to a gluten free version. I recommend it for celiacs who miss that old time flavor of shoe fly pie. Note: some folk say shoo fly pie but my recipe used the spelling you see in this post. I believe either is appropriate.
I know folks who shy away from gluten free baking thinking it is too complicated. Well, a couple years ago I featured pies and this is the easiest pie around so I dedicate this to a few friends who have been too scared to bake gf. You can do this one! If you want, buy a ready made uncooked crust but I swear that with a stand mixer this is the easiest and best gf crust around.
This shoe fly pie recipe is a blending of the filling I have used for years, (my sister Margie gave me the recipe a long time ago) and the pie crust and crumb recipes from Annalise Robert’s cookbook, Gluten-Free Baking Classics. Her cookbook is a fabulous resource and I can’t recommend it enough to anyone trying to bake gluten free for a family member.
My shoe fly pie is considered a “wet bottom” pie; not too crumbish. If you want it drier use ½ cup molasses and ½ cup water. I love it soft and moist so my version always is a wet bottom shoe fly pie.
Angie’s Shoe Fly Pie
1 c plus 2 tbsp brown rice flour mix (at bottom of recipe)
2 tbsp sweet rice flour
1 Tbps. granulated sugar
½ tsp xanthan gum
¼ tsp salt
6 Tbps. cold butter cut into 6 chunks
1 lg egg
2 tsp fresh orange or lemon juice
Spray 9 inch metal pie pan with cooking spray.
Mix dry ingredients in bowl of stand electric mixer. Add butter and mix until crumbly and resembling coarse meal. Add egg and juice. Mix until it comes together into big chunks. Shape into a ball with your hands. Put it on a crust sized piece of parchment or wax paper (14 x 14 inches more or less), flatten the crust ball some; put on top of it another piece of parchment or wax paper and chill it all in your fridge 15-20 minutes. Make the crumb topping while it chills.
Put all four ingredients in the same mixing bowl you made the bottom crust in and mix well with mixer paddle until crumbs form. You will only use 1 ½ cups of the crumbs; put it in a jar and store it in the fridge until your next pie; it keeps well for several weeks.
¾ c brown rice flour mix
½ c granulated sugar
½ tsp xanthan gum
1/3 c cold butter cut into six chunks
Next, roll out pie crust between the two sheets of parchment or wax paper; try to get the thickness even, no thick middle! Peel off one side of paper and place in pie pan, centered. Remove other slice of wax paper. Crimp edges all around. Then make filling and pour half into the crust, careful not to splash it out.
2/3 cup molasses, I used Grandma’s
¾ cup boiling water
½ tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Mix the ingredients in a medium mixing bowl with a spoon until blended. It will foam up a bit as the baking soda mixes with the molasses! Gently pour half of the molasses mixture into the raw pie shell.
Then pour half the crumb topping (1 1/4 to 1½ cup total) evenly over this mixture. Add the rest of the molasses liquid and sprinkle the rest of the crumbs on top.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes Cool at least ½-1 hour before serving or let cool to room temperature.
Note: I used to bake pies in my bottom heat pizza oven and it gaveme a great browned crust. No longer have that oven so I put the wire rack as close to the bottom as possible and it really helps the bottom of my pie to brown. One other option: if your oven isn’t bottom heat you might want to pre-bake a gf crust 10 minutes before filling.
Brown Rice Flour Mix (King Arthur’s basic gf blend)
2 c brown rice flour
2/3 c potato starch
1/3 c tapioca flour
** This blog post first appeared in March of 2016, revised slightly in 2023 to clarify the directions. Enjoy!