The City Magazine Since 1975

Wet-Bottom Pie

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1/2 cup sorghum molasses
1 egg yolk, well beaten
1/2 Tbs. baking soda
3/4 cup strong coffee
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
2 Tbs. unsalted butter, diced and cold
1 pie crust (recipe follows)

Pie crust:
11/2 cups all-purpose flour + extra for rolling out crust
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup cold lard, cut into small pieces
1 Tbs. white vinegar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup ice water



Preheat oven to 450°F.

Combine the molasses and egg yolk in a bowl. Mix the baking soda with the coffee and add it to the egg and molasses.  

Put the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg in a mixing bowl and combine well. Add the cold butter and mix it in with your fingertips to make coarse crumbs.

Pour molasses mixture into the pie crust. Top with crumb mixture. Place pie on the middle rack of the oven. Bake at 450°F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for another 20 minutes, or until crumbs are light brown. Place the pie on a wire rack and let cool for two hours.

Slice into eight equal pieces. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Pie crust:
Combine the flour and salt in a bowl and mix.

Add the pieces of cold lard. Work the lard into the flour with your fingertips to create a course mixture. Don’t overwork!

Combine the vinegar, egg, and water in a small bowl. Mix well

Combine the vinegar mixture with the flour mixture and mix just until it comes together in a ball.

Put the dough on a floured surface and roll into a 1/4-inch thick large round. Fold the dough in half and transfer it to a 9-inch pie pan. Lightly push it into place. Trim off the excess edge with a knife.

Crimp the top of the shell between your fingers. Prick several holes in the bottom and sides of the crust with a fork.