Thursday, October 4, 2018

Shoo Fly pie

Shoo Fly pie or ???

Last month, we read about Shoo Fly pie in Jack Gantos's novel Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key in our New Readers' Group hosted by The City Library.

So, I made the pie. About 6 minutes before the pie finished baking, I realized that I had left out the sugar in the crumble topping. I laughed. 

Having never eaten or baked Shoo Fly pie before, I had no idea of the impact of this missing ingredient. I was pretty sure however that no one would die from this mistake. I also thought they might not like the taste. 

I took the pie to share anyway. 

Before we looked at my pie packed away in my pie basket, we read Gantos's description of Joey eating his Shoo Fly pie. 

"...I sat down and stuck my finger straight through the brown crust...and when I was finished I stuck my finger in my mouth. It was sweet, as sweet as the little packets of sugar I eat at Dunkin' Donuts, sweeter maybe. More like Log Cabin pancake syrup...And the pie was almost as runny as the syrup. It wasn't gelled up like the cafeteria cherry pie. So I picked the top crust off and ate that first...Then I just kept sticking my two curled fingers in and licking them off and the more I ate the faster I wanted to eat it...Just eating the pie and tasting the warm sugar melt all over my tongue and ooze down into my belly like a slippery sugary snake, and when it was almost finished I...tilted back my head, and poured the last brown drops of it right down into my throat..." (p. 61-62).

If you are a Shoo Fly pie aficionado, then you've already noticed that the pie topping in the photo above looks powdery rather than crusty. The missing sugar definitely changed the consistency or structure of the pie's top crust. 

The recipe I used said the pie shouldn't come out dripping - that was the common complaint in the comments following the recipe. According to Gantos's description however, molasses should very definitely have been oozing out of the pie plate. 

Our reality was not even close to Gantos's vivid description.

With trepidation, I served each person 1/8” slices because I didn’t know if they'd like it or not. I also read that the entire pie had a calorie count well over 3100 calories. I didn't want people gaining weight on my account.

Regardless, people ate their thin slices of pie. The reaction was split between liking the pie or not. The “likers” finished off the pie.

Have you eaten Shoo Fly pie before? How do you weigh in? Was your pie extremely runny or dry?

Thanks for reading.

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