The Flaming Vegan

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Lancaster County Shoo-Fly Pie
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Lancaster County Shoo-Fly Pie

Prep Time: 20-30 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Shoo-fly pie is a huge deal in Lancaster County, PA and environs. I grew up next door in Dauphin County, so I got to eat a lot of it. According to my grandma, who used to run a bakery, there are a lot of terrible shoo-fly pie recipes making the rounds. To be sure I was getting one of the good shoo-fly pie recipes, I adapted one from Lancaster’s Central Market, published in 2010 on the Bon Appetit forum. Grandma wouldn’t give me hers!


For the crust:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (plus approximately 1/2 cup extra for rolling)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Earth Balance Natural Shortening
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

For the filling:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1 heaping cup molasses (you can use Golden Barrel Unsulfured Blackstrap Molasses, per the original recipe, but Grandma’s brand Molasses will do just as well.)
  • 1/2 cup tofu blended with 1/8 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup boiling water


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Crust (makes two pie shells; you need just one for this recipe):

1. Combine the flour and salt with a fork. Add the shortening to the dry ingredients in gobs/chunks and cut it in with your hands until pea-sized crumbles form. 

2. Add the water and vinegar to the dough/shortening mix and mash all the ingredients together with your hands.

3. Split dough in half. Cover your counter with aluminum foil and a healthy sprinkling of flour. Roll out each half so it’s ten inches in diameter. Use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use. If you want to make the crust the night before, go ahead - the dough can stay in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

4. Pat dough into pie pan and pinch the edges.


1. Fork together the flour and brown sugar. Cut the shortening in with your hands. Scoop out a half cup of this mixture and put it in a coffee cup for later use.

2. Add molasses, tofu blend, and baking soda. Fork together. Boil the water and add to the filling. Continue mixing everything together until the mixture is slightly runny and gooey.

3. Pour wet mixture into pie crust. Sprinkle the reserved half cup of flour, brown sugar, and shortening on top.

4. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean. The pie will be a bit jiggly but it will firm up as it cools. Transfer to a pie rack. When it’s cooled, do a face plant into your plate like that kid in Stand By Me. Swat them flies away. Fress (eat) yourself full.


Photo courtesy of Christopher Paquette, Flickr’s Creative Commons.

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  1. Support
    This looks divine! Thanks so much for sharing, Karla.
  2. dagnabit
    Brown sugar is white sugar with molasses. So that is just more of the primary flavor. Perhaps for sugar that was not filtered with bone char, raw sugar or morena sugar would be the vegan way. Of course that is still a form of molasses just less processed.


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