Tar Heel Pie

Tar Heel Pie
Richards favourite Pie

When my good friend Lynn from America was living in England she taught me many American recipes which were all wonderful and helped me to become much more adventurous in my culinary adventures, baking especially. Tar heel Pie is actually a very easy and simple dish to make and has always exacted many compliments and requests for the recipe. It is Richard my eldest sons yearly request for his birthday cake and this year is no exception. Making this today and thought must blog this one. Happy thirtieth Birthday Richard!. The following is what the University of North Carolina has to say about the origins of the name of this pie, the second explanation is the one that Lynn recounted to me when she introduced me to this recipe.

The nickname Tar Heel Pie, which also applies to North Carolina citizens, has at least two possible origins. One story hails back to the Revolutionary War and the troops of British General Cornwallis. After fording a river in eastern North Carolina, the British troops discovered their feet covered with tar, a product of North Carolina’s abundant pine trees and one of the state’s most important exports at the time. Some say the clever North Carolinians dumped it in the river to slow down the invading army. The British were said to have observed that if you waded in North Carolina rivers, you would get tar on your heels.
Another story comes from the Civil War. A group of North Carolina soldiers scolded their comrades for leaving the battlefield when things got tough. The soldiers threatened to stick tar on the heels of the retreating soldiers to help them stay in the battle. General Robert E. Lee is said to have commented “God bless the Tar Heel boys!” .
Tar heel Pie serves 6-8
for the sweet pastry
200 g plain flour, plus some for dusting.
50 g icing sugar.
125 butter or good quality margarine.
pinch of salt.
2 free range egg yolks.
Sift flour and icing sugar into a bowl. Add butter in small cubes or marge and add pinch of salt. Use finger tips to rub butter into flour until mix looks like bread crumbs.
Add egg yolks stirring in with a knife to begin with, then hands to bring dough into a ball. Add a few drops of water if too dry.Knead lightly until smooth, flatten slightly, wrap in cling film or bag and pop in the fridge for 1-2 hours. Roll out to line a 25 cm tart tin.
Meanwhile make filling
1/2 cup butter.
1 cup chocolate chips.
 1 cup chopped or ground nuts.
1/2 cup brown sugar.
1/2 cup white sugar.
1/2 cup plain flour.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
2 free range eggs.
Melt the butter gently in a pan and add the chocolate chips. Warm over a low heat until melted and incorporated.
Blend all the other ingredients together in a bowl and add the chocolate mix to it. Stir with a wooden spoon until all blended..
Place a baking tray to warm in the oven.
When warmed remove and place the tart tin on top with the unbaked pie shell
Pour chocolate into the unbaked pie shell. 
Bake 30 mins 160 degrees, (gas mark 3) .Mine is a fan oven, adjust to suit your own cooker.
If making small individual tartlets reduce cooking time.

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