After three years of various people trying this spiced molasses pie, it was time for a post update. As it turns out, this pie is a delicious hit with everyone we know. However, it seems there should be two options for different palates. Below, you'll find a recipe for a strong, rich, not-so-sweet pie and a slightly modified recipe for those who prefer a very sweet holiday treat.
**This post was edited again in September 2014 to give a little background on our favorite special holiday pie!"
This is a recipe for a rich and gooey molasses pie with gingerbread spices that K developed three years ago. The original recipe is still in our archives, but the pie has been so popular it deserves an update. First, some background. This delightful holiday pie was born from a long review of other recipes for molasses pie and shoo-fly pie. The traditional recipes fittingly come from Pennsylvania Dutch country where our Mom grew up. They seem to have a crumb layer in addition to a "wet" molasses filling. Our version instead offers straight-up gooey goodness, with a filling that we think was originally based on this recipe in particular. (K didn't take good notes during her search, so unfortunately we've never really been sure how it came to be, but that looks very close. If you find something that looks closer, tell us and we'll attribute it here!)
Option One: Spiced Molasses Pie with Maple Whipped Cream: Strong and Rich
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
1 cup white sugar
Splash of apple cider vinegar
3 eggs (4 if your eggs are small)
1 T vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
Nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon, ground cloves to taste
Melt 1/2 cup butter, then simmer with 1/2 cup of blackstrap molasses, 1 cup of white sugar, and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Stir constantly. Remove from heat and slowly beat in 3 eggs, 1 T vanilla, 1/4 tsp. salt, and generous amounts of nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon, and ground cloves to taste.
Pour filling into an unbaked pie shell and cook at 400 for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for 25 more minutes.
The molasses taste here will be rich and strong. To soften this a bit, and to make a prettier pie, pipe a thin layer of homemade maple whipped cream (1 cup heavy cream, 3 T maple syrup) over the top. The molasses lovers at your table will really enjoy slivers of the pie, especially with strong coffee or tea. The texture--soft and gooey--is amazing.
For those who are entertaining a crowd that loves very sweet desserts, we recommend adding another 1/4 or 1/2 cup of sugar or reducing the molasses by 1/4 cup and replacing with a 1/4 cup of honey. With the sweeter version, we recommend topping with homemade cinnamon whipped cream rather than the maple! (Just add cinnamon to heavy cream prior to whipping.)
The first year, we made this with a Whole Foods frozen gluten-free pie crust, but also thought it would be tasty with the almond meal crust we use for other pies. This year, K used Smitten Kitchen's all-butter, really flaky pie dough recipe with great success. To make it gluten free, she just swapped the regular flour for equal amounts of Pamela's gluten-free artisan flour blend.