Montgomery Pie

This is a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch dessert but not as well-known as the quintessential wet-bottom Shoofly Pie. Montgomery Pie differs from shoofly’s bold molasses bottom layer and crunchy upper layer of crumbs in that Montgomery Pie features a molasses and lemon laced bottom layer and a light buttermilk-cake top.

Rumor has it, but I cannot verify, the pie got its name because it was created in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Sounds plausible, so I just roll with that.

It’s a very old hand-written recipe from my very old and banged up recipe file and is a pie that has a long history in Amish and PA Dutch households. My Nana made this often because my Mom adored freshly brewed iced tea with lemon, so our refrigerator (or “ice box” as Nana referred to it until she passed away in 1975) always contained a bag of fresh lemons.

If it had “pie” in its name, my Pappy would gladly settle down with a piece of it accompanied by a cup of strong brewed coffee to which he added a generous dollop of evaporated milk, poured from a can on which two holes were punched in the top using the tip of an old butcher knife (who needed a can opener…)

If you like shoofly pie, I encourage you to give its cousin, Montgomery Pie a try!

Use your favorite pie crust recipe, refrigerated crust, or frozen for this pie, but make it a 9 inch deep dish crust.

Montgomery Pie

Recipe by A Coalcracker in the KitchenCourse: DessertsCuisine: Pa. Dutch, Coal RegionDifficulty: Intermediate
Cooking time




  • Pastry for one deep dish 9 inch pie

  • Bottom Layer
  • 1/2 cup molasses

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 cup water

  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon zest

  • Top Layer
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or sour milk = 1/2 cup whole milk plus 1-1/2 teaspoons white vinegar. Mix and allow to stand 10 minutes)


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Thoroughly combine molasses, sugar, egg, water, flour, lemon juice and zest. Pour the batter into the unbaked pie shell; set the pie aside.
  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat thoroughly.
  • Sift the remaining flour and baking soda together and then add it to the creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Mix until well blended. Add it to the pie shell, spreading it evenly over the bottom layer.
  • Place the pie in the oven, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is lightly browned across the entire surface.
  • Cool completely before serving.