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Here are a few recipes that visitors online have requested at one time or another –  My favorite Shoofly, Hoppin John, and Moravian Love Feast Buns.  I don’t have photos for any of these at the moment.

There are 2 types of Shoofly Pie- one is generally referred to as ‘wet’, the other ‘dry’. This is the wet variety (that just means it’s not dry like cake- it should come out very moist, almost like a bread pudding.) Some people only put the crumbs on the bottom of the pie shell, others put the molasses mixture on the bottom. I put most of the crumbs on the bottom, and scatter the reserve over the top.

unbaked 9″ pie pastry
3/4 c flour
1/2 c br sugar
1/2 t cinnamon (generous)
dash salt
2 T butter
1/2 c molasses (I use dark)
3/4 c very hot water
1 egg yolk, beaten
1/2 t baking soda

Cut the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl mix molasses, soda & hot water- beat in the egg yolk quickly so it doesn’t scramble and get hard. Put most of the crumbs in the bottom of the pie shell so it is roughly even- it doesn’t have to look perfect- no one’s going to see it because you’re going to pour the molasses mixture all over it anyway.  Sprinkle w remaining crumbs over all & bake in 375 oven for about 40-45 min

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My Hoppin John  (a special New Year’s dish)

* sort, soak overnight, and drain one dry # of black eyed peas (drown them in water)
* a  ham hock or meaty ham bone (sometimes I substitute smoked turkey)
– or today, I used an Andouille sausage in place of all of the above
* 2 medium onions, divided
* 3 large cloves garlic, halved
* a bay leaf
* 1 cup rice
* 1 can (10 to 14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes with chile peppers, juices reserved
* 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
* 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
* 3 stalks celery, chopped
* 1 jalapeno or Serrano pepper, minced
* 2 teaspoons Cajun or Creole seasoning
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
* 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 4 green onions, sliced

In a large Dutch oven or kettle, combine the drained black-eyed peas, ham bone or ham hocks, and 6 cups water. Cut 1 of the onions in half and add it to the pot along with the garlic and bay leaf. Bring to a boil NO SALT added, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer gently until the beans are tender but not mushy (probably a couple of hours). Remove the ham bone or hocks- or turkey-, cut off the meat; dice and set aside. Drain the peas and set aside. Remove and discard the bay leaf, onion pieces, and garlic.  If salt is introduced as the beans cook, they will become tough & unpleasant.  Season them after they have completed cooking.

*Five Bean Rule:   give the pot a good stir, pick out 5 random beans and pinch them.  If they all squish and yield between your fingers, they are perfect.

Add 2 1/2 cups of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the rice, cover, and simmer until the rice is almost tender, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Chop the remaining onion then add to everything else. Cook until the rice is tender. Stir in the sliced green onions and the reserved diced ham.

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Moravian Love Feast Buns
(recipe from the Moravian Music Journal– this is from about 30 years ago).  This communal act of  worship has been described as an Agape Feast, where collective resolve is strengthened among the community,  and goodwill is affirmed.  The two key food components are Lovefeast coffee, which is like a mild sweet cafe au lait; and a soft, sweet raised bun, which goes perfectly with coffee or cocoa- or in many locations on many occasions,  orange juice, tea or Kool-aid.
oven 350 degrees

1 c mashed potatoes
1 c sugar
½ t salt
½ c warm water
1 T grated orange rind
1 t. grated lemon rind
½ t nutmeg
5-6 c flour
½ c scalded milk
½ c butter
3 pkg dry yeast
2 eggs, beaten
1 T orange juice
1 t. lemon juice
½ t. mace

Cool potatoes to lukewarm. Scald milk, adding sugar, butter, and salt.
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Into sugar mixture stir the lukewarm milk, potatoes, yeast, eggs, lemon/orange rinds & juices, nutmeg/mace.

Stir in 2 ½ c flour until smooth
Add enough additional flour to make soft dough and knead till satiny. Let rise till double, punch down cover & rest for 5-10 min.

Shape into approx. 2” balls, and place on greased pans, not touching; let rise till doubled.
Bake 15-20 min. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar when fresh from oven


If you’re new to fried-pies, let me tell you I’ve been making hand-pies for many years.  It’s a pie, you can hold it in your hand, and it is deep-fried.  I love making them, but I usually end up making some kind of peach filling, because it’s hard to hold a candle to a peach handpie.  You can use any filling you want-anything that you can imagine going into a regular, big pie in a pie-pan.  Just use a spoonful.

I cut a 9″- round of pastry into 3 parts (almost like a peace-symbol) and put a good tablespoon of filling in the center of each, one at a time.  Then I cut them into half-moons, crimping firmly with a fork all around the edges, and cutting a couple of vents- and I dropped them into 375F peanut oil.  They cook completely in 3-5 minutes.  However, you will need to turn them at least once, preferably with some kind of spoon or spider (don’t puncture them now).  When they’re golden-brown, you can safely assume they’re done.

For peach filling I chopped up about

1-1/2 cups of frozen peaches and added approximately,

1/3 cup of raspberries I had in the refrigerator

8- 12 Tbsp brown sugar (I use about 1/2 cup)

3/4 tsp cinnamon

generous 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

pinch salt

1 heaping Tablespoonful of Bird’s Custard Powder (it’s my secret ingredient in so many pies.  I am weak)

squeeze of lemon juice

some lemon zest

1-1/2 tsp Balsamic vinegar (you read that correctly-just try it & you will genuinely like it, I promise); just use a supermarket Balsamic

Mix it all together and do not cook it. This is the filling and you can mix everything together in 2 minutes with a small bowl and a spoon.  I have a small, electric deep-fryer, so I only cook one pie at a time.  It requires a little patience, but the result is something you don’t just see everyday.  Dust them with powdered sugar- even though they don’t need it.

Let them cool, don’t burn your mouth- but you’re a lucky person if you are standing near the stove when they come out of the fryer.

The first apples are ripening- it was a perfect reason to make pie.  And make ice cream to go with it as well (made with coconut milk!)  Click on the individual photos for close ups, and then click on the close ups for REAL close ups 🙂

Would it be wrong to put whipped cream on top of the whole thing?