I grew up in a family deep-seeded in Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. They expressed this heritage primarily through food. At every holiday event there was something on the table that was a reminder of their culture - Funny Cake, Creamed Cabbage, Ring Bologna, Filling (to name a few). Shoofly Pie was a particular favorite of the family, with its gooey molasses bottom, cakey middle, and light layer of crumb on top.
For year my family has been telling a funny holiday story about me and Shoofly Pie, so I might as well share it with you. I will warn you that my family probably thinks this story is cuter than you, but here it goes. When I was a small child, still in a high chair, my family was gathered around the holiday table, eating and chatting away, while quiet little me ate my dessert - a small piece of Shoofly Pie. When I was finished, I looked around the table and very quietly began asking for "More dirt please?" Dirt, in my two-year-old wisdom, was Shoofly Pie. And of course everyone thought I was so cute that they gave me more pie. The end:)
Yeah its corny, but the name stuck. Until my grandmother passed away, we ate "Dirt" at almost every holiday.
This year I cooked Thanksgiving dinner for my husband and his brother and family. I decided to make Shoofly Pie on my own for the first time. Unfortunately no one knows where to find my grandmother's recipe for the pie, but I found a few ideas on the internet and set about making this family favorite. I was so happy and extremely proud of the end product! After finishing off much of the pie myself, I decided that the strong molasses flavor would make an excellent ice cream flavor. I was right (still pretty wise, huh?). Enjoy!
Shoofly Pie Ice Cream
aka "Dirt" Ice Cream
Ice cream base adapted from recipes in Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home
Makes 1 quart
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cups whole milk
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
Pie crust, pre-baked and broken into small pieces (optional)
Preheat over to 375 degrees F. Prepare crumb topping by combining flour, brown sugar, and butter in a food processor. Pulse until just combined. Spread crumb onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes (or until crumb begins to brown), stirring occasionally. Remove and cool completely.
Fill a large bowl with ice water. In a small bowl, mix 2 Tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch. In another large bowl, whisk together cream cheese and salt.
Combine the remaining milk with heavy cream, sugar, and molasses in a large saucepan. Bring milk mixture to a boil. Cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, 4 minutes (mixture may curdle due to acidic nature of molasses but will come back together in finished ice cream). Off the heat, gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Return to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
Gradually pour the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese. Whisk until smooth. Set the bowl in the ice water bath and let stand, stirring occasionally, until cool, about 20 minutes. Chill the mixture thoroughly (at least 4 hours or overnight).
Once ice cream base is chilled, pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Sprinkle a layer of sugar crumb and pie crust pieces (if using) into a plastic container and lightly spoon a layer of ice cream on top. Continue to alternate layers of crumb/pie crust and ice cream until the container is full, topping with a sprinkle of sugar crumb.
Place plastic or parchment over ice cream (to prevent ice crystals) and freeze until firm, at least 4 hours.