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Pie, pie and more pie, please

Cathie Campbell/For The Madera Tribune

If you like molasses, you will want to try some shoofly pie.


I love most types of desserts, but I would have to say that pies are my favorites. I love lemon meringue, pecan, blackberry, apricot and shoofly pie the best. But I would never refuse any other type. I take that back, as one time I had a piece of pie that was made with shredded carrots, Cheddar cheese, sunflower seeds and a few apple bits. I must admit I did not ask for seconds.

Hopefully, you will find one or more pie recipes here that you will consider trying. Enjoy, and also consider wearing elastic-waist pants when you feast.

Basic pie crust

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup shortening

1/3 cup milk

1 tablespoon white vinegar

1. Combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Cut in shortening. Add milk and vinegar. Shape dough into a ball.

2. Chill for 30 minutes. Divide dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll out each half to fit a 9-inch pie pan.

Shoofly pie


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar


1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 large egg

1 cup molasses

1 teaspoon baking soda

1. For crust: Pulse the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add about one-third of the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like cornmeal. Add the remaining butter and pulse 3 times, or until the mixture looks like coarse meal with pea-size pieces of butter. Drizzle in 3 tablespoons ice water and the vinegar and pulse 3 or 4 times, just until combined (do not let the dough come together into a ball). Pinch the dough between your fingers; if it doesn’t hold together, add up to 2 more tablespoons ice water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, pulsing. Turn out onto a sheet of plastic wrap and pat the dough into a disk; wrap tightly and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

2. Roll out the dough into an 11-inch round on a lightly floured surface. Ease into a 9-inch pie plate. Fold the overhanging dough under itself and crimp the edges with your fingers. Refrigerate the crust 1 hour.

3. Place a baking sheet on the middle oven rack and preheat the oven to 375. For filling: Whisk the flour, brown sugar and butter in a large heatproof bowl; set aside 2/3 cup of the mixture for topping. Whisk the egg, molasses and baking soda into the remaining brown sugar mixture, then whisk in 3/4 cup boiling water until smooth.

4. Pour the filling into the chilled crust. Sprinkle the reserved brown sugar mixture on top. Carefully transfer the pie plate to the hot baking sheet and bake 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 and continue baking until the crust is golden and the filling is firm, 40 to 45 more minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool; serve warm or at room temperature.

Maple pecan pie

Pastry for a single-crust pie (unbaked)

3 large eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup real maple syrup

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups pecan halves

Whipped cream, optional

1. Preheat oven to 375. Roll out dough to fit a 9-inch pie plate. Transfer crust to pie plate. Trim to 1-inch beyond edge of plate; flute edges.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until smooth. Add maple syrup, butter, vanilla, salt and pecans. Pour into prepared crust.

3. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. If desired, top with whipped cream to serve. Store in the refrigerator.

Sweet potato pie

4 large eggs

1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter, melted

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon lemon extract

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes

Pastry for two single-crust pies (9 inches)

Whipped cream, optional

1. Preheat oven to 425. In a mixing bowl, combine first 10 ingredients; mix well. Beat in sweet potatoes.

2. Pour into crusts. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350; bake 30 to 35 minutes longer or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely. Serve with whipped cream, if desired. Store in the refrigerator.

Apple pie with brown sugar topping

6 cups sliced peeled tart apples

2 tablespoons lime juice

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches)

2 tablespoons butter


2 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 400. In a large mixing bowl, toss apples with lime juice. Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt; add to apples and toss lightly.

2. Line a 9-inch pie plate with bottom crust and trim even with edge; fill with apple mixture. Dot with butter. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie. Place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edges; cut slits in pastry.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and apples are tender. Do not turn oven off yet.

4. For topping, melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in brown sugar and cream; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in pecans.

5. Pour over top crust. Bake 3 to 4 minutes longer or until bubbly. Place on a wire rack. Serve warm.

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