Shoo Fly Pie & Apple Panowdy

Shoo Fly Pie & Apple Panowdy

Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pandowdy, the song by Dinah Shore was one of the best selling records of 1946. Lately a new generation has been introduced to the catchy tune due to its use in a popular automobile commercial. Unlike their older music loving counterparts, most of today's generation has never had the pleasure of eating either of these two old fashioned desserts -- despite the fact that Dinah just couldn’t get enough of them.

Shoo Fly Pie is a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch dessert. Brown sugar, molasses, shortening, salt, and spices were all non-perishable ingredients that could survive the long ocean’s crossing to America made by German immigrants. The pie’s unusual name is said to be due to the fact that pies were traditionally set to cool on windowsills, and because of the sweet ingredients, the cook would constantly have to shoo the flies away.

Apple Pandowdy is one of a family of simple desserts, known in different parts of the world as cobblers, duffs, grunts, slumps and pandowdies. While these desserts have subtle variations, the base of all of them is fruit baked with a sweet biscuit or cake top.

The exact origin of the name Pandowdy is unknown, but it is thought to refer to the dessert's plain or "dowdy" appearance. Looks can be deceiving; apple pandowdy is delicious, especially topped with a bit of ice cream or whipped cream.

Both these desserts are super easy to make, yet win rave reviews from diners. Try some tonight. Your dinner guests just won’t be able to get enough of that wonderful stuff!

Shoo Fly Pie

Crumb topping is a bit of misnomer, as the crumbs will be absorbed into the liquid bottom layer. Don't worry of it looks strange going into the oven, it will all firm up as it bakes. You can make this pie using a full cup of molasses instead of the molasses/corn syrup mixture, but I find the flavor to be a little stronger than my liking, which is why I recommend the mixture.

1 unbaked 9" pie crust

Crumb Topping:
1 C flour
1/2 C light brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/3 C butter

Liquid Bottom:
1 C boiling water
1/2 C light molasses
1/2 C dark corn syrup
1 tsp. baking soda
1 egg, beaten

Serves 8

Preheat oven to 325 &deg F.

Mix the crumb topping ingredients together with a pastry blender until well mixed and mixture resemble fine crumbs. Set aside.

Mix molasses and corn syrup, add boiling water and stir to mix. Add baking soda and beaten egg and mix well. Spoon into an unbaked piecrust. Spoon the crumb topping mixture over the top. Place pie on a foiled covered baking sheet (trust me, if pie shell overflows you don't want burning sugar syrup all over your oven) and bake for about 40 minutes or until pie is medium set and dark brown. Serve warm or chilled.

Apple Pandowdy

1 ¼ C butter
2/3 C sugar
1 egg

1 C milk
2 ½ C flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

4 C peeled, sliced apples
1/3 C brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

whipped cream or ice cream for garnish

Serves 8

Combine flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. Preheat oven to 350 F.

Butter a 9" square baking dish. Place sliced apples in buttered baking dish and sprinkle with a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in egg. Add flour mixture, alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture to make a stiff batter. Spread batter evenly over apples and bake for about 50 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for at least ten minutes before serving. You can serve it right out of the pan, or invert it onto a serving plate like an upside-down cake, warm or at room temperature. Top with whipped cream or ice cream.

About the AuthorCheri Sicard is a self confessed dessert-a-holic and the editor of, where you can find lots of other great recipes, cooking articles, holiday and netertaining ideas, celebrity chef interviews and free cooking newsletters.

About this Author