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Pie Expectations goes TBT with a Shoo-Fly and a Shaker Lemon Pie

Shoo-Fly and Shaker Lemon Pie by Butter and Scotch

Who says newer is always better? Sometimes you gotta look back to the past to see the future. Of course, nobody said you had to look back to your own past; someone else’s will do just fine. Especially if that past includes delicious pie recipes. This week, yours truly went into classic pie territory with the bakers at Brooklyn’s Butter and Scotch to satisfy her nearly insatiable pie cravings. For those unfamiliar with either Shoo Fly or Shaker Lemons, here’s a bit of their history. Shaker Lemon pie dates back to the early 19th century or so with the religious group known as the Shakers. Remembered primarily now for their simple living (good), equality of the sexes (even better), and celibacy (wait, what?) they also get credit for leaving us the gift of a somewhat unique dessert. Nobody ever accused the Shakers of concocting elaborate meals and this simple pie is no exception. Made with whole lemons, rind and all, sliced thinly and soaked in sugar, this pie is decidedly bitter. And yet sweet too. Of course while your taste buds argue over who gets credit for the flavor of this pie, you're too busy licking the spoon and digging in for more. Now if you just can’t wrap your mind around the two conflicting flavors or if just the thought of lemons makes you pucker up and run away, steer clear of this pie. However, if you you’re feeling a bit adventurous and willing to take a trip back in time, call up Butter and Scotch and experience the palate-pleasing craftsmanship of the Shakers.

But the bakers of Butter and Scotch didn’t stop with Shaker sweets; they took a stroll through Amish country to bring us the Shoe-Fly Pie. Rich with molasses and loaded with spices, such seeming indulgence doesn’t at first conjure up images of a life of simplicity. Ah, ah, ah, don’t be so hasty ye citizen of modernity. The secret to this pie is in fact, its simplicity. Among the staples of early settlers were flour, molasses, lard, and salt. Gee, I wonder what this pie is made of. Surprise, surprise. Not normally though of as a Thanksgiving day dessert by many 21st century folk, with its nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice, the Shoe Fly could hold its own right next to other classic turkey-day pies. Feeling nostalgic for days long gone? Get your ol’-timey on with Lemon Shaker and Shoo Fly Pies.

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