S'more Pie

My "Summer Recipe Idea List" looks something like this:

Watermelon -- salad? granita
Cherries -- mini pies? roasted balsamic cherries? cherry clafouti?
Corn -- in a pasta? Salad? 
Blueberries -- pie!! Scones?
Strawberries -- biscuits? Milkshake? semifreddo? cake? cobbler?
Tomatoes -- tomato sauce, tomato crostata

I won't bore you with the whole list, of course, but here we could play a game of "one of these is not like the other," or rather, among all the above-mentioned fresh, seasonal ingredients lies "S'mores," which of course are not even an ingredient, but have every right to be included -- as far as I'm concerned, you see, it's just not summer without a s'more. 

Now, I've found that almost every non-American colleague or friend I've ever had has scratched their head at the mention of a s'more (poor things). For those of you unfortunate enough to have grown up deprived of s'mores, let me explain: a s'more consists of two graham crackers, sandwiched around a toasted marshmallow and a piece of milk chocolate. Ideally, the marshmallow is toasted over a campfire, but I've found that the marshmallow can also be easily toasted the over the heat of one's own stove (I'm not one for camping, myself). The chocolate should come from a Hershey's milk chocolate bar, the kind that breaks easily into little squares that fit perfectly on to the graham cracker, and it should be room temperature, so that it becomes soft and melt-y when it comes into contact with the aforementioned marshmallow. The graham crackers should be Honey Maid brand, the plain kind -- none of this chocolate graham cracker or cinnamon graham cracker nonsense -- and yes, I know, I take my s'mores very seriously.

I really didn't think that the classic s'more could be improved on or was worth modifying -- why mess with a good thing?! -- but then I met this pie, which is basically a giant circular s'more that can be cut into slices and served up to your guests, who will think you're a genius. The filling is rich, and intensely chocolate-y, truffle-like when room temperature, pudding-like when warm, poured into a buttery crumbly graham cracker crust and topped with a layer of perfectly toasted mini-marshmallows, crispy and toasty on the outside and soft and oozy on the inside. In short, this pie is sublime, and my only regret is sharing it only now, in August, when it really should have been on your Summer dessert radar this whole time (my apologies). And oh, this pie requires minimal ingredients and is super simple to prepare -- as if you needed any more convincing.

A couple of notes: The original recipe called for all milk chocolate in the filling. I felt that this might be too sweet for the non-Americans who would be eating it, so I used a mix of semi-sweet and milk chocolate. If you are afraid of the pie being too sweet, feel free to use all semi-sweet chocolate. As you can see from the below photos, I attempted to use my creme brulee torch to melt the marshmallows, but I just ended up burning a few of them (we did get a few makeshift s'mores out of the deal though). So, my advice would be to take the easier route and just place the pie back in the oven for a 2-3 minutes, or until the marshmallows are melted and golden. This process occurs very quickly, so keep an eye on things. Don't have graham crackers where you are, either? McVities Digestive Biscuits make an excellent substitute. 

Looking for more s'more recipes? Check out last year's insanely good S'more Bars.


Ingredients for the crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick,) melted

Ingredients for the filling:
7 ounces chocolate, chopped (semi-sweet, milk, or a mixture of both)
1 cup heavy cream
1 egg
Pinch of salt
2 cups mini marshmallows

To make the crust: Pour the melted butter into the graham cracker crumbs and mix together until the mixture resembles wet sand. Butter a 9-inch pie pan. Pour the crumb mixture into the pie pan and press the crumbs evenly against the sides and bottom of the pan (trick: an empty Nutella container or a water glass is helpful in getting the crumbs to lay flat and evenly against the pan). Put the pie pan in the fridge and refrigerate the crust for at least 30 minutes.
To make the filing: Put the chopped chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan until hot  and little bubbles start to appear (do not boil though!) Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 1 minute. Whisk the cream and chocolate together until glossy and smooth. Add a pinch of salt. Let the mixture cool slightly. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Add the egg to the chocolate mixture and whisk to fully incorporate. Pour the chocolate filling into the chilled crust and bake for 25 minutes, or until the filling is set but still slightly wobbly in the center. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
Top pie with the mini marshmallows. Put the pie in the oven for 2-3 minutes, or until the marshmallows are melted and golden. Take out of the oven and let cool before slicing. Serves 8.  

Recipe from www.cooking.nytimes.com.

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