Although Dinah Shore made Shoo-Fly Pie famous in her 1946 hit record, few people outside Pennsylvania have enjoyed this traditional, molasses-based dessert.
Place pie crust in a pie dish. Whisk molasses and egg. Slowly add boiling water while continuing to whisk. Stir in baking soda. Pour molasses mixture into a pie shell.
In a bowl, combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter or shortening with 2 knives or a pastry cutter until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Work in salt.
Sprinkle crumb mixture over molasses. Bake at 350ºF for 40 minutes or until molasses filling starts bubbling through the crumbs. Cool and serve.
Derived primarily from boiling sugar cane, molasses is a long-lasting staple and can be fermented into rum, which made it a valuable commodity during colonial times. Before sugar refining became cost-effective, molasses was the chief sweetening agent in many dishes.