When it comes to potlucks, M. Catherine Shearer has a go-to family recipe that wins every time – her great-grandmother’s shoo-fly pie! The Shearer family is no stranger to Berks County’s rich heritage; Catherine can trace her family’s lively and accomplished lineage back to Pennsylvania’s founding era.
Mary Sellers Shearer lived on Fritztown Road in Vinemont, PA with her husband, Solomon Shearer. The recipe was passed down to Mary’s daughter and eventually made its way into the hands of her great-granddaughter, M. Catherine Shearer, who was happy to share the recipe for this classic Berks County Foodway with us!
- 2 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 heaping TB. Crisco
Mix dry ingredients together and combine with Crisco until crumbly. Set aside 2 handfuls for the top of the pies. Using the remaining flour mixture add:
- 1/2 tsp. cloves
- 1 cup molasses (Turkey Syrup)
- 1 1/4 cup hot water
- 1 tsp. baking soda
Fill 2 (8″ or 9″) pie shells with the molasses mixture and top each pie with the crumb topping.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
The Berks History Center thanks M. Catherine Shearer for sharing her family recipe for shoo-fly pie with us! A native of Berks County, now living in Exeter Township, Shearer has been a Trustee of the Berks History Center for close to two years, and a is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Berks County Genealogical Society. Before her retirement, she was a well-known community leader. As part of her employment at the Berks County Chamber of Commerce, and the Berks County Career Link, she was involved in heightening the community’s Economic and Workforce Development efforts.