There will be pie

Two culture-war posts in a row, so perhaps it’s time for a nice refuge thread for those fleeing more contentious conversations. Let us therefore discuss pie.

David R. Swartz’s Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism is receiving widespread acclaim for his revealing and insightful look at the progressive evangelical movement of the 1970s and 1980s. I tend to think of it as That New Book About Everyone I Used to Work For. Here’s Molly Worthen’s review in The New York Times. And here’s the first part of Scot McKnight’s review at Jesus Creed.

So with Swartz’s history of that movement in mind, I thought perhaps a pie from Doris Janzen Longacre’s classic More-with-Less Cookbook — the book that fed the evangelical left.

Here is a recipe for Shoofly pie, contributed by Elta Miller of Lititz, Pa.

Shoofly Pie

Serves 6, 375°, 35 min.

Preheat oven to 375°
Prepare 1 unbaked 9″ pie shell
Cut together with pastry blender:

1 c. flour
½ c. brown sugar
2 T. shortening or margarine

Reserve ½ c. crumbs for topping.
Combine in mixing bowl:

1 c. molasses
1 egg, slightly beaten
¾ c. cold water
1 t. soda in
¼ c. hot water

Add crumb mixture and beat together.
Pour into unbaked pie shell. Sprinkle reserved ½ c. crumbs on top. Bake 35 minutes.



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  • Carolyn

    I’ve been experimenting with pie recipes lately, and had an idea for a pie I’m planning for Thanksgiving, but I’m not sure if it’ll work. What I want is to make a cherry pie that has a chocolate layer, or maybe just chocolate in with the cherries. Is this a thing that exists, or should I just make something up? Any suggestions would be welcome.

  • Loquat

    I don’t generally make pies myself, but this recipe may be useful to you.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Can’t talk about pie without a meat pie!

    (I, too, find the idea of shoofly pie sickeningly sweet. For dessert pies, my favourite is lemon meringue).

  • Does anyone else call the meat (or other non-sweet) ones “savoury pies”?  I think that might be something I picked up just from one NZ person, and have no idea how widespread it is.

  • Katie

     Quite possibly, yes.    When I make apple pie, its usually more than one pie.

  • My great-aunt had a famous-in-our-family not-quite apple pie recipe (it was made in a jelly roll pan instead of a pie tin, and she put a glaze on top when it was done).  I just looked up the recipe and she recommended using yellow delicious.

  • EllieMurasaki

    You mean Yellow Delicious apples have a purpose other than being perishable paperweights?

  • J_

    *I thought perhaps a pie from Doris Janzen Longacre’s classic More-with-Less Cookbook — the book that fed the evangelical left.*

    Mmm, that explains a lot. More-With-Less is a cookbook written by people who may once have heard of the idea of a good meal but certainly never had one themselves. Mostly starch piled on top of other starch with a side of starch on the side. Also makes the mistake of assuming that spice and fat are co-equal in generating flavor. (Don’t see the issue with that? Try replacing butter with cumin and let me know how it works out for you.)

    The same criticism that applies to, say, “The Moosewood Cookbook” fully works on More-With-Less:

    -Take ANY recipe from the book
    -Add 3 strips of crumbled bacon
    -Noticed marked improvement

  • LE

    The last time I made an apple pie it took more than 10 apples (largish Granny Smiths), so one each of a dozen varieties would work out just about perfect.