Thursday, December 9, 2010

S'more Pie

I know that most of you will look at that and say, "That's a summer treat!"  But I beg to differ!  There aren't many things better than sitting around a hot fire on a cool late fall/early winter night while roasting marshmallows. Can you smell the campfire?  Mmmmmm, I can.  Every year we go camping in mid November and one of my favorite parts of camping is hanging out by the fire at nights.  But, I'm not satisfied with just marshmallows.  Nope.  I have to make mine even more bad for me.  That's right.  I have to make a sandwich out of my marshmallow with chocolate and graham crackers.  (My mouth is watering.)  It is sacrilegious any other way.  (OK, maybe not that bad.)  So a couple of days after we got home from camping, I was craving a s'more.  I thought, there HAS to be some sort of a s'more recipe out there in blog land.  And sure enough, I found one.  *insert high pitched squeal here*  I found it on Smitten Kitchen.  I'm pretty sure I have the biggest blog/baking crush on Deb at Smitten Kitchen.  She has some of the most delicious looking recipes and beautiful photography!  So I was soooo excited when I found the recipe here.

I made the crust.  It was beautiful.  I made the chocolate cream filling.  It was beautiful.  Then I started on the homemade marshmallow.  It was....interesting.  I knew that I had probably gone wrong somewhere when my marshmallow wasn't as stringy as the recipe warned it would be.  But, I left it on the pie anyway.  I set the oven to broil and put the pie in.  I came back 4 minutes later to a flaming marshmallow.  *sigh*  I pulled the pie out and blew out the flame...just like you would if you caught you mallow on fire while camping.  I was highly annoyed because not only was the marshmallow burned on top, but a little of the crust got charred as well.  *double sigh*  Then I remembered that when you burn a marshmallow, you can pull off that layer and there will still be more that you can roast.  Eureka!  So I started pulling off the top layer of the marshmallow to find a white liquid underneath.  Seriously?!  So, I discovered that something was more wrong with my marshmallow than I thought.  *triple sigh*  It was as if I melted all of the marshmallow?  I spooned all of the liquid off of the chocolate layer and then replaced it with store bought mini marshmallows.  *quadruple sigh*  That was pretty defeating.  I've never made homemade marshmallows before.  I remember the first time that I found out one of my friends makes them.  I thought she was a NUT!  I thought, marshmallows are too cheap to bother with!  And quite honestly, I have continued to feel that way until now.  Those that know me in real life will tell you that I am pretty stubborn.  I can tell you now that I WILL master homemade marshmallows.  I will make marshmallows until I can't stand it any longer to make them perfect.  I WILL redeem myself and make the s'more pie the way it is supposed to be made!!!  Until then, here is the recipe of the delicious pie word for word as on Smitten Kitchen.
Yes, those are small little flames on the right side. 

Smore Pie
Adapted from Gourmet, November 2006
Don’t be daunted by the number of steps in this pie–it is surprisingly simple to make, yes, even the marshmallows.
The biggest trick with the marshmallows is how messy they are. You’ll be tempted to break a strand of marshmallow between the bowl and your pie with your finger, it will then stick to your finger and you’ll use another finger to clean that one off and end up with sticky cobweb hands and strings of marshmallow everywhere, so don’t do it–use another spatula instead. Trust me, this has happened to me each time.
Of course, you could take a lot of shortcuts. You could buy an already-prepped graham cracker crust and/or you could line the chocolate layer with store-bought marshmallows and toast them instead. But then how would you play “Look! I’ve Got Spiderman Hands!” in the kitchen?
For crust
5 tablespoons salted or unsalted butter, melted, plus additional for greasing
1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs (10 graham crackers or 24 small gingersnaps; about 6 oz, pulsed in a food processor until finely ground)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt (omitted if you use salted butter)
For chocolate cream filling
7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not more than 70% cacao; not unsweetened), finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 large egg, at room temperature for 30 minutes
For marshmallow topping
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-oz package)
1/2 cup cold water
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Vegetable oil for greasing
Special equipment: a candy thermometer
Make graham cracker crust: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter pie 9- to 9 1/2-inch pie plate. Stir together all ingredients in a bowl and press evenly on bottom and up side of pie plate. Bake until crisp, 12 to 15 minutes, then cool on a rack to room temperature, about 45 minutes.
Make chocolate cream filling: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Put chocolate in a large bowl. Bring cream just to a boil in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan, then pour hot cream over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then gently whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Gently whisk in egg and a pinch of salt until combined and pour into graham cracker crumb crust (crust will be about half full).
Cover edge of pie with a pie shield or foil and bake until filling is softly set and trembles slightly in center when gently shaken, about 25 minutes. Cool pie to room temperature on a rack (filling will firm as it cools), about 1 hour.
Make marshmallow topping: Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup cold water in a large deep heatproof bowl and let stand until softened, about 1 minute.
Stir together sugar, corn syrup, a pinch of salt, and remaining 1/4 cup water in cleaned 1- to 1 1/4-quart heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then boil until thermometer registers 260°F, about 6 minutes.
Begin beating water and gelatin mixture with an electric mixer at medium speed, then carefully pour in hot syrup in a slow stream, beating (avoid beaters and side of bowl). When all of syrup is added, increase speed to high and continue beating until mixture is tripled in volume and very thick, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and beat until combined, then immediately spoon topping onto center of pie filling; it will slowly spread to cover top of pie. Chill, uncovered, 1 hour, then cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap (oiled side down) and chill 3 hours more.
Brown topping: Preheat broiler. Transfer pie to a baking sheet. Cover edge of pie with pie shield or foil and broil 3 to 4 inches from heat, rotating pie as necessary, until marshmallow topping is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Cool pie on a rack 10 minutes. Slice pie with a large heavy knife dipped in hot water and then dried with a towel before cutting each slice.
[Alternately: I browned the topping with a creme brulee torch. It took some time and didn't get as brown as I think it would have under the broiler (the pie was still cold, and hard to heat up with a small flame) but it does work in a pinch, or when you're away from the oven.]
Note: Pie (before browning topping) can be chilled up to 1 day.

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Monday, December 6, 2010


The cast of "For Unto Y'all" 

Sorry y'all!  Please excuse my break from blogging last week!  At church we were preparing for our annual Christmas musical.  My husband, oldest son, and I were all in the production and we were BUSY!  We had 3 performances this past weekend and are now finished.  I can't wait to share this week's recipe with you!!!


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