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Pennsylvania Dutch Moshey Pie

-----Original Message----- 
From: Barbara 
Sent: Sunday, August 26, 2012 3:05 PM
Subject: moshey or mooschi pie

When my husband was small, his Pennsylvania Dutch mother used to make a 
small pie or tart she called moshey pie.  It was not the consistency of the 
candy, but more like a chess pie.  Definitely made with molasses and sugar, 
but not sure what other ingredients, or proportions.  Can you help?  Thanks!

Hi Barbara,

This is spelled several different ways: mooschi, moshey, moshy, mosche, moschy, and moschie. Maybe even "moshi", but not to be confused with Asian "moshi". All uses of the term seem to refer to something made with molasses, so it may be an old term for molasses. Other than the candy, it's widest use has been to refer to taffy made with molasses. "Moshey apples," another use of the word, are a kind of "taffy apples".

The only mention that I can find of "moshey pie" (using any spelling of moshey) is in this book:
"Christmas in Pennsylvania: A Folk-Cultural Study" By Alfred Lewis Shoemaker, Don Yoder, William Woys Weaver
This book mentions "moshey pie" being served every year at the "Pennsylvania Dutch Folk Festival" in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.

Moshey apples - "The Reading Eagle" - Nov 12, 1920

Pennsylvania Dutch Folk Festival in Kutztown website

Here's the thing...

I could not find any mention of moshey pie on any Pennsylvania Dutch websites, nor could I find it mentioned on any sites about the food served at the Kutztown, PA Pennsylvania Dutch Folk Festival. None of the recent items about the Kutztown Pennsylvania Dutch Folk Festival mention "moshey pie". Instead, they mention "Shoo-Fly Pie", which is also made from molasses and sugar. That "Reading Eagle" moshey apples newspaper article says that the word "moshey" is rarely heard outside Berks County, Pennsylvania, which is where Kutztown is located.

I dislike speculation, but I am going to do a bit and speculate that "moshey pie" and the original "shoo-fly pie" are one and the same, being called "moshey pie" years ago in Berks County, PA, but being called "shoo-fly pie" elsewhere in Pennsylvania. "Shoo-Fly", being the more interesting name, won out, and "moshey" slipped into disuse even in Berks County. There are shoo-fly pie recipes on my site here:
Shoofly Pie


I suspect that you may be right about that. My husband swears it was a separate treat made by 
his mother when she was making pies. She would put leftover pie dough in a couple of little tart 
pans and fill those for the kids. He says he didn't really care for shoo fly pie and so this must 
have been different...he loves this, he says. I found a recipe for a molasses pie that includes 
some milk in the ingredients and that may be just a version of shoofly pie that his mother might 
have used. It sounds like it might come closer to what he remembers, as he says it was similar to 
chess pie. I will commence the experimentation! Thanks for your help. And, by the way, I have the 
book you referred to and had already noticed the reference. It's what started my search when we 
discovered it in a forgotten box in the attic. 

Hi Barbara,

I wasn't satisfied to give up on the moshey pie question, so I wrote to Dave Fooks, Director of The Pennsylvania Dutch Folk Arts Festival at KutzTown, PA. Below is what he said.


We have contacted a number of Pennsylvania Dutch ladies renowned for their traditional cooking, 
and came up with a number of different variations on the same recipe…
However, they all had the same basic theme… a special treat made for youngsters, or adults with a 
sweet tooth. Moshey Pie, can be made as a small pie or tart, or even as a topped cookie. 
It was usually made in conjunction with pie making, as a way to use up the extra piecrust dough.
The extra piecrust dough would be laid out in tart or a pie dishes. A small amount of milk, flour, 
and brown sugar, possibly supplemented with molasses or cinnamon, depending upon the cook, would 
be mixed together into a thick filling, and poured into the pie dough. Dabs of butter would be added, 
and swirled around lightly, leavinga sweet slurry, ready to be cooked.

I hope this helps!

Bingo!!! This absolutely fits my husband's description of the treat. It was always with the leftover 
pie dough and baked in a tart pan. The ingredients sound exactly like the taste he recalls and it's 
good to know I have some latitude according to taste.  Vet helpful--thanks so much!!


Subject: Pa Dutch Mosey Pie
From: Penelope
Date: 4/9/2020, 3:52 PM

On 4/9/2020 1:51 PM, Penelope wrote:

Dear Phaedrus
On this occasion of my Grandmothers 130th birth anniversary I got thinking about how she 
used the leftover dough to make mosey pies. Imagine my delight to pull up your thread 
about this with Barbara. I agree with Dave Fooks- and Barbara said “bingo”. When I was 
little I “baked” next to my grandmother on baking day Friday. She made lots of fruit pies, 
one was called guidda (quinces I think ) apples of course, once I remember schnitz 
(dried apples) butterscotch cream pie. Then the leftover pie dough was put in small 
baking tins for mosey pies. I never heard an “h” pronounced in it. I also never remember 
molasses in it- but she never made shoo fly pie that I remember. I remember the milk, 
cinnamon, sugar,  butter, usually not an egg but I’m don’t want to say never. Eggs were 
saved for fruit custard pies like peach or rhubarb custard pies. She grew up near the 
border of Berks and Lebanon Counties. Oh she also made corn pie, yum. One time there was 
a family reunion and and she made corn pie, which was considered a main dish, for 40. 
Thanksgiving usually had a pie per person- there were  always mince and pumpkin pies for 
that holiday, besides the apple pies. One time it was 22 pies. She didn’t make funny cake, 
but I do and I love it. It’s a pie but you probably know that.
I don’t know how long ago your blog was with Barbara but please pass along my email to her.
Thank you for this great service.
PS - My Uncle Edgar Messerschmidt was the horse shoe maker and he shod horses at the 
Kutztown Festival for years.

Palm Beach

Hi Penelope,

Thanks for sharing your memories!  Due to a computer hard drive failure several years ago, I no longer have Barbara's email address, but I will add this to the moshey pie post. Perhaps she'll visit again and see it.


Elm Tree Inn Stuffed Lobster

From: Maryann 
Sent: Saturday, August 18, 2012 3:54 PM
Subject: Elm Tree Inn, Pawcatuck, CT Stuffed Lobster Recipe....

Dear Uncle Phaedrus... 

When I was a little girl living in Westerly, RI, my father (God rest his soul) would take me over the 
bridge into Pawcatuck, CT for the best stuffed lobster I have ever had.  It was at the Elm Tree Inn and 
they used to have it every Friday night as a special.  I loved the stuffing they would use, and I believe 
they broiled the lobster.  I have not had, nor have I found on the net, a recipe that comes close...
I think they used bread crumbs and NOT the usual Ritz crackers.  I hope you can help.  Thanks so much in advance.


Hi Maryann,

Sorry, the only thing that I can find is a few brief mentions of the Elm Tree Inn in Pawcatuck, CT. No recipes and no menus.

There are lots of stuffed lobster recipes on the web, many using breadcrumbs or Italian breadcrumbs instead of Ritz crackers. I’ll have to have more details if you want me to try and find something similar. What else were they stuffed with besides breadcrumbs - crabmeat, fish, shrimp, clams, tomalley or just the claw meat? Recall any spices?


From: Maryann 
Sent: Saturday, August 18, 2012 5:53 PM
To: Phaedrus 
Subject: Re: Elm Tree Inn, Pawcatuck, CT Stuffed Lobster Recipe....

Believe it or not, I think it was just an Italian (rather fluffy) breadcrumb stuffing without any seafood. 
It wasn't loaded down with butter...probably had some garlic (or powder), the usual salt and pepper, definitely 
parsley... but being a kid at the time it is hard to know...maybe some was just very good....
and they filled the tail with it and broiled it.  
Thanks for your help.  You have some of the best recipes on your website!!  

Hi Maryann,

I’m glad you enjoy the site.

I know you said you thought that the stuffed lobster from the Elm Tree Inn was broiled, but I found an old newspaper ad for the restaurant that says “baked stuffed lobster”. See:
The Day, New London, Connecticut - Sep 28, 1984

I guess the best I can do is send you the closest recipe that I found. You might be able to start with the below recipe and tweak it by adding a bit of garlic salt and some parsley, maybe leaving off the tarragon.


Baked  Stuffed  Lobster  Tails

4 lobster tails (6-8 oz. each), thawed if frozen
4 tbsp. melted unsalted butter
1 c. soft fresh bread crumbs
1 tsp. dried tarragon
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Lemon wedges

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  
2. With scissors, remove the thin shell covering the underside of the tail by cutting along each side.  
3. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons melted butter, bread crumbs, tarragon, salt and pepper.  
4. Spoon the bread crumb mixture over the lobster tails.  Drizzle with the remaining butter.  
5. Place the lobster tails in a baking pan.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the lobster meat is opaque and the crumbs are brown.  
Serve with lemon wedges.  Serves 4.

Thanks so much!!!!!  I LOVE the ad.  I appreciate all of your help.  :-))

Southern Living Old Time Fudge Cake

From: ralph  
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2012 11:15 AM
Subject: Recipe Request

Dear Phaedrus

I am looking for the recipe for Old Time Fudge Cake from the December 1972 Southern Living 
Magazine.I sure hope you can find it for me.

Thank You Very Much
Yours Truly Ralph 

Hello Ralph,

I cannot find a recipe called “Old Time Fudge Cake” that mentions any connection with Southern Living Magazine. The only “Old Time Fudge Cake” recipe that I can find is the one below and one or two recipes with the same name, but with small variations in the quantities of ingredients or that use margarine instead of butter.

If that’s not it, you might try posting your request on the Southern Living Community message board. Their online archives do not go back past the 90s, but if you post a request on the message board, someone may have that issue and might be willing to post it for you. See:
Southern Living Community

If you are certain that the recipe was in the December 1972 of Southern Living, then your best bet might be to buy a copy of that issue. Copies are advertised for sale here:

Search Old Magazines $8.95

Back Issues $15.95


Old Time Fudge Cake

2/3 c. soft butter 
1 3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 (1 oz.) sq. unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 1/2 c. sifted cake flour
1 1/4 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. ice water

Cream together butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until fluffy. (Beat 5 minutes at high speed on mixer scraping bowl occasionally 
to guide batter into beaters or beat 5 minutes by hand).  Blend in cooled chocolate.  Sift together flour, soda and salt, 
add to batter alternately with ice water beating well after each addition.  Bake in 2 paper lined 9 x 1 1/2 inch round pans 
in moderate oven 30-35 minutes.  Cool and frost with:

Favorite Chocolate Frosting:
1 c. sugar
5 tbsp. butter
1/3 c. milk
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate bits

Melt ingredients together in a double boiler, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat and beat until smooth. 

Ginja Japanese Restaurant

From: Brittany 
Sent: Friday, August 24, 2012 9:38 PM
Subject: Ginja Japanese Restaurant -- Dalton, Georgia.

Ginja Japanese Family House, Dalton, GA
Looking for the recipe for the brown sauce they serve with the teriyaki chicken and the recipe for their fried rice.

Hello Brittany,

Sorry, I had no success finding these recipes.


Greetings from Oregon:

The sauce served was probably Tonkatsu sauce or perhaps Ponzu sauce. Both are commercially available and their recipes can be found on the Internet.     

Timm in Oregon

Also try:

Japanese Steakhouse White Sauce 


1-1/4 cup Hellmann's mayonnaise or other high quality mayonnaise
1/4 cup water 
1 teaspoon tomato paste (no ketchup)
1 tablespoon butter, melted 
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 
1 teaspoon sugar 
1/4 teaspoon paprika 
Dash cayenne pepper 


Using a fork or a whisk, blend all ingredients together thoroughly until well mixed and the sauce is smooth. 
You must refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend. Bring to room temperature before serving.   


An article about Tonkatsu sauce, which is mainly used with pork

Tonkatsu Sauce Recipe

A Ponzu Sauce Recipe. This is a citrus sauce.

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