Heath (Miller) Bar Toll House Pie

This blog is turning into nothing but fries and pies, huh? 

Well, the obvious choice when working tight end Heath Miller into a recipe is with the chocolate-coated toffee bars with which he shares a name - that are manufactured about three and a half hours east of da 'Burgh in Hershey, PA - the Heath Bar! We're going chop these guys up and toss them into a delicious, ooey-gooey Toll House Pie. I hear it calling... "HEEEEAAAAATH..."

But first, football. Heath Miller is not only a 2-time Super Bowl Champ, 2-time Pro Bowler, 3-time AFC Champ, the Steelers' 2005 Rookie of the Year, this past season's Team MVP (2012), and thus far, a career-long Steeler, but he's also extremely active in the community - what's sweeter than that? 

In 2011, Miller became the third-ranked Steeler on the franchise's all-time leading receivers list with 408 receiving yards, trailing only John Stallworth (537) and Hines Ward (1,000). (The Football Database) In spite of Miller's ACL injury late last season (week 16, Cincinnati), he still set personal records in 2012 in touchdowns (8), total yards (816), and, as I mentioned before, was named team MVP. (steelers.com) All these stats are making me hungry. 

My mom typically makes the delicious Toll House Pie, served warm, a-la-mode, on Thanksgiving. Now, I love my Steelers, and almost nothing makes me happier than watching games, but I think it's safe to say that every year, Kathy and I secretly hope that they are NOT scheduled to play on Thanksgiving or Christmas. The fact of the matter is, if they lose, the holiday will go down in history as a fail. It's just automatically ruined in our house. I'll save the details of the 1998 Boyd Family Thanksgiving/Phil Luckett Coin Toss Debacle for November because, guess what?? The Steelers are scheduled to play their arch nemeses, the Baltimore Ravens, week 13 this season on Thanksgiving night. Primetime. Until then, let's pray to the Black and Gold gods that we'll be thankful for a win on November 28 and practice our pie-making!

This is my first ever attempt at a homemade, from-scratch pastry pie crust (graham cracker crust not withstanding). It was pretty trial-by-error and turned out fairly imperfect in appearance by food blog standards, but it was well worth the effort. I combined elements from a few recipes (including this one from The Pioneer Woman - she has some really great step-by-step photos that helped me along the way). If you prefer to use store-bought pastry dough, by all means, go for it - you'll definitely shave some time off the game clock. 

Heath (Miller) Bar Toll House Pie
Recipe adapted from Tasty Kitchen

For the filling
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup Heath Bar, chopped (3 candy bars)
1 cup walnuts, chopped

For the crust
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable shortening/Crisco
1/2 egg, beatten
2 tbps cold water
1/2 tbsp white vinegar

Mix the flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Gradually mix shortening into flour with a pastry cutter or two butter knives (criss-crossing knives to chop and mix). Continue to mix until it resembles a "course meal." (I found this step pretty difficult, as it was too wet and lumpy. I continued to add flour in a few tablespoons at a time until it was more dry than wet.) Beat egg in a small bowl with a fork, add half to flour/shortening and discard the rest. Add cold water, vinegar and gently stir together to combine, until dough begins to come together. Again, if it appears too wet or sticky, add a little flour until it is workable. 

Flour a sheet of parchment, roll dough into a ball, place on parchment and gently flatten with your palm. Roll dough with rolling pin from the center, outward until it is about 1/8 inch thick (the rolling was surprisingly easy). Flip, roll again, then place in pie plate. Form to fit the plate, fold any excess under the rim and pinch edges. Set aside.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl on low speed until foamy. Beat in flour and both sugars. Beat in butter on medium-high speed until thoroughly combined. Chop Heath Bars in food processor or by hand and fold into mixing bowl along with walnuts. Pour pie filling into pie crust/plate. Bake for 45-50 min until firm and cuts cleanly. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

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