October 2009 – Funny Cake Pie

Filed under:2009 P.O.T.M.,Chocolate Pies,Staple Pies — posted by admin on May 5, 2010 @ 5:01 pm


Hello Fall Pie Fans! The  air (and the apples) are crisp, and the leaves (and the pumpkins)
are changing from green to orange here in Bavaria.  Yep. that’s right. I’m back in Bavaria this
month.  This month’s pie is a traditional pie of the Pennsylvania Dutch, supposedly the pie,
like the community of settlers from which it comes, is German in ancestry, but I am a bit
skeptical of this claim…  since i’ve never run across anything like this in German bakeries.  In fact pies in general are little known by traditional German bakers.  But who knows? The evolution of pie is a remarkable and mysterious thing at times.
Anyway. The name “Funny Cake Pie” is telling in several ways. First of all,  the pie itself is cake-like… much like a shoo-fly pie, or a lemon sponge pie, or a Montgomery pie there is a cakey layer component to the filling.
The “funny” bit refers to the way the chocolate layer goes on top when you make the filling
but it comes out of the oven with the chocolate layer mysteriously on the bottom layer!
It’s sort of a funny = “that’s odd” more than a funny = “ha ha ha!” kind of thing.
Lastly, I want to mention that while I’ve been in Europe this past 18 months, my awesome aunt and crackerjack cousin have been doing all the pie club mailing and admin. They are the reason you get a postcard every month!  But right now their husband/dad, my unmitigated uncle Joel is
fighting a battle with Lymphoma. So I hope perhaps y’all will send your good vibes, anti-cancer thoughts, prayers, or what ever kind of positive energy you’ve got their way!
No kind of healing power like pie power, I always say.
OK. here’s the pie (finally!)
One 9” unbaked pie shell
Top Part (i.e. it becomes the “top” after baking):
1 cup sugar
1 beaten egg
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Cream together sugar and shortening.  Add the combined milk and egg alternately with flour and baking powder.  Add flavoring and set aside until lower part is mixed.
Lower Part :
1/2 cup sugar
6 Tbsp. water
4 Tbsp. cocoa
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
Mix together the cocoa, sugar, water, and vanilla. Pour into an unbaked pie shell. Over this carefully pour the “top part”.
It’s OK if the chocolate oozes up around the outside edge -  gives a nice crusty edge on the finished product. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes or until toothpick in the center of the top layer comes out clean.