Framing Fraktur through Food

By Alix G. RSS Wed, April 29, 2015

Many moons ago when we began to undertake the incredible Framing Fraktur initiative here at the Free Library, I started blathering on (incessantly, some might say) to colleagues about the wonder that is Shoofly Pie. You can keep your ice cream, your cakes, and your (gasp! Dare I say it!?) your chocolate chip cookies. For me, it is all about the Shoofly. Where I hail from—deep in the heart of Pennsylvania German country—Shoofly Pie is second nature. And it is awesome.

For those not in the know, Shoofly Pie is ooey-gooey goodness, concocted from just a few basic ingredients like molasses, butter, and brown sugar. (You can’t go wrong with that now, can you?) In Lancaster County, Shoofly Pie is omnipresent, but it isn’t always easy to find right around Philly. Reading Terminal Market is always a solid bet, or you can try your hand at making it at home, using this easy-peasy recipe!


  • 1 unbaked pie crust
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Crisco
  • 1 cup molasses
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. baking soda disvolved in ¼ cup hot water
  • Cut the flour, brown sugar, and Crisco together to make crumbs
  • Mix half of your crumbs into a liquid mixture composed of the molasses, water, egg, and the baking soda water. Set the other half of the crumbs aside.
  • Pour your mixture into the unbaked pie shell; sprinkle your remaining crumbs on top.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.
  • Enjoy the heck out of this wonderfully classic Pennsylvania German-style dessert!

Don’t forget to dig more into Pennsylvania German culture through Framing Fraktur programs and exhibitions, and get your cooking skills on at our Culinary Literacy Center!

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