The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Shoo-Fly Pie and Apple Pandowdy

By Susan M. Thigpen © 1992

Issue: January, 1992

In the mountains, apples were the one fruit in abundance. For this reason, apple recipes sprang up faster than apple seedlings. Apples were also favored because they could be kept for many months in a cool room or an underground bin, or dried until needed. They could be served at any meal (stewed or fried apples are great for breakfast) or eaten as a snack at any time.

Molasses were used in a large variety of mountain dishes because a lot of families raised sugar cane and boiled their own. This made it a much more readily available sweetener than sugar. The Apple Pandowdy recipe uses molasses as a sweetener. Shoo-Fly Pie has a molasses filling and came to the mountains from our German pioneer heritage. After a few generations, though, it became known simply as 'Lasses Pie. We hope you enjoy these two recipes. They are both warm and comforting on a cold January day.

Apple Pandowdy

Butter a 1 1/2 quart baking dish.

Put in the baking dish:
3 cups tart apples, peeled and sliced.

Sprinkle with:
1/2 cup molasses or brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Bake at 350 degrees until apples are soft. Meanwhile, prepare:

Cottage Pudding

Sift together:
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar

1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup melted butter

Stir gently into flour mixture. Spread batter over apples and continue baking until top is brown and crusty (about 25 minutes). Serves 6. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Shoo-Fly Pie

1 cup molasses
1 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
9" unbaked pie shell

Combine molasses, water and baking soda; bring to a boil. Boil one minute or until light in color. Sift together flour and sugar. Cut in butter and blend until it is a crumbly mixture. Pour molasses mixture into pie shell and cover with crumb mixture. Bake in a hot (425 degrees) oven for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 30 - 40 minutes until done.

The top of the pie should be a golden brown and a layer of firm, jelly-like filling is between the crumbs and crust.

Molasses Milk

If you really want to do it up right, make this to drink with your desert or as a mountain nightcap for a good night's sleep. If you prefer your milk cold, try a molasses milkshake. Molasses are a good source of iron.

2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup of milk

Heat the two ingredients together, stirring until blended. Do not boil - just heat until a good, hot, drinking temperature. Add a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice if you wish.