S’more Pie!

Yes, this post deserves an exclamation mark after it (just like the Bagels!) because I have been waiting years to make a s’more pie. My delay wasn’t for any of the normal reasons like intimidation or cost, but because I hadn’t found the perfect combination of recipes to help me put together my s’more pie vision. There are plenty of s’more pie recipes out there and most of them look really tasty …but instead of the usual crumbly graham crust I wanted a crust with some muscle, I wanted a chocolate filling that would stay sliced rather than puddle (à la French silk pie), and I absolutely had to have a billowy, huge marshmallow topping. I know, I can really be demanding sometimes.

However, I have finally found the winning trinity of hearty crust, thick filling, and billowy topping from Lovin’ From the Oven, Smitten Kitchen, and ButterYum respectively. Since I was creating a new patchwork recipe, my proportions turned out to be a bit off…  UPDATE: I’ve made the pie again, exactly as I outlined below, and it was perfect! I’ll warn that the graham cracker crust recipe makes nearly double the amount you’ll need. However, I decided not to halve the crust recipe since 1. it would be awkward to ask you to use ½ an egg and 2. the marshmallow topping also leaves you with extra (depending how high you pile it on), so you can just make another pie if you choose or simply freeze the dough for later…OR make mini pies!

Finally, for those of us without kitchen torches, you can toast your marshmallow topping using the oven broiler – just be sure to keep a sharp eye on it. You’ll be able to smell that amazing toasted-marshmallow aroma around the time the topping is a deep golden brown. The second time I made this I also piled the marshmallow on in a tiered fashion with a flat top. The curls on the first looked pretty, but also made it difficult to brown evenly without a torch. And yes, I’m sorry, I did make this over a month ago but between the Hummingbird Cupcakes and Sloppy Joes I thought I’d give you a few healthy dinner ideas before sharing this baby …cause, boy, you’re going to want it all to yourself!

S’more Pie

(adapted from Lovin’ From the Oven, Smitten Kitchen, and ButterYum recipes)

Ingredients:

For the Crust…

½   C   unsalted butter at room temp.

¼   C   brown sugar

¼   C   sugar

1   large egg

1   t   pure vanilla extract

11/3   C   AP flour

¾   C   graham cracker crumbs

1   t   baking powder

¼   t   salt

For the Filling…

14   oz.  fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (around 70% cocoa), finely chopped

2   C   heavy cream

2   large eggs, at room temp. for at least 30 minutes

For the Topping…

8   large egg whites

2   C   sugar

½   t   cream of tartar

2   t   pure vanilla extract

Procedure:

1) For the crust: preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light then beat in the egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour blend to the butter blend and mix at low speed until combined. Press dough one handful at a time into deep dish pie pan, making sure to cover the sides well but keep in mind the dough will rise: mine ended up a bit too thick the first time around. Aim for about ¼” in thickness. Ball up the remaining pie dough, wrap in plastic-wrap, and freeze for later use (will last up to a month). Weight the dough for blind-baking using either pie weights or dried beans/rice and bake for 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow pie weights to cool for at least 15 minutes before removing and letting the base of the pie air for at least another 5 minutes more. Turn oven down to 325°F but leave it on.

2) For the filling: Place chocolate into a large, heatproof bowl and bring cream to a boil in a saucepan – being careful not to scald it. Pour hot cream over the chocolate, let it stand for 1 minute, and then gently whisk until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Gently whisk in the egg and a pinch of salt until combined, then pour into graham cracker crust (if you aren’t using a deep dish pie pan, be careful not to overflow the container!). Bake for 40-45 minutes or until filling is softly set and still jiggles in the center if gently shaken – the filling will firm up as it cools. Let pie cool to room temperature, about 1 hour if left on the counter or 20 minutes on the counter followed by 10 in the fridge (I’m not the most patient person, just make sure to set the pie pan on an oven-mit and not directly on plastic).

3) For the Topping: In the last 10 minutes or so while the pie’s cooling, place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in a heatproof – preferably metal – bowl and set over a saucepan with simmering water. Whisk constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the whites are warm to the touch, about 3 minutes. Remove bowl from saucepan and beat the mixture, starting on low speed and gradually increasing, until soft glossy peaks form – about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and mix until combined. Immediately pile topping onto pie, mounding as much on as can reasonably fit. Use a kitchen torch to brown the marshmallow or place pie back in the oven on the middle rack, turn on the broiler, and watch the pie until topping has toasted and turned a light golden brown. Serve immediately.

Beezer’s Notes:

I’m so glad I waited for the right combination of s’more pie perfection because this pie is everything I imagined it would be: a solid but clearly graham cracker crust, rich smooth dark chocolate filling (that’s slice-able!), and a giant mass of marshmallow-y goodness on top! This pie has the flavor and texture of a s’more (yes, that topping is just as sticky haha) but in a drool-worthy deep-dish form. Unfortunately, the only sliced shot I was able to get was via my iPhone at the office party, but you can still see it here. I guarantee you this will be the s’more pie of your dreams. 🙂

Overall Enjoyment: ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

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Double-Layer Ice Cream Pie

I like ice cream. I like pie. I like ice cream with my pie….but somehow, I had never before encountered – nor even considered – an ice cream pie. I suppose it’s not all that different from an ice cream cake, that easy fall-back for countless birthdays across the America, and yet the idea of a crunchy shell supporting two yummy flavors topped with a generous drizzle of caramel sauce was too good to pass up. Especially when the caramel sauce mentioned was advertised as “easy” and I had never before made caramel sauce in my life (sadly, melting caramel candies with cream doesn’t count). Plus, how can you go wrong with Ree’s wonderful step-by-step photo instructions?? I tweaked it a bit for my own tastes (and laziness) but barley enough to mention; see Beezer’s Notes below if you’re really that curious. I promise I won’t be offended if you skip directly to Ree’s site and work from her pictures – that woman could publish a photo-book of recipes that would still be perfectly functional without a single  typed word.

Double-Layer Ice Cream Pie (adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks)

Ingredients:

For the Crust…

3     egg whites

¼   t     salt

½   C    sugar

1     C    almonds, finely chopped

For the Filling…

2    Pints of ice cream, one each of different flavors

For the Caramel Sauce…

4     T     butter

1      C     brown sugar, packed

½    C    heavy cream

1      T    vanilla

pinch of salt

For Chocolate Ganache…

1     C     dark or semisweet chocolate chips

1     C     heavy cream

Procedure:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Add sugar and salt and beat again until stiff and glossy. Gently fold in nuts and spread mixture over the bottom and up the sides of a non-glass pie pan – make sure the sides are adequately coated. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a light golden brown. Allow crust to cool completely.
  2. About ten minutes or so before crust is completely cool, remove the first of the ice cream pints from the freezer and allow to soften while waiting on the crust.
  3. Once crust is completely cool and ice cream has softened, spread the first pint across the bottom of the crust and smooth the top. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 10 minutes or so to harden a bit. At the same time, remove your second ice cream pint and allow to soften on the counter while the first layer hardens.
  4. Remove pie from the freezer and spread the second pint of ice cream on top of the first. Smooth the top and return the completed pie to the freezer to solidify one last time. While waiting, prepare the sauces.
  5. Mix all caramel sauce ingredients except the vanilla in a small sauce pan over med-low heat. Cook while whisking gently for 5 minutes or so until thicker. Add the vanilla and cook a minute more to thicken further. Remove from heat and transfer sauce to a jar. If not serving the same day, refrigerate the sauce til needed.
  6. To make the chocolate ganache, mix chocolate and cream in another small sauce pan over med-low heat until smooth. Remove from heat and transfer to another jar. Again, if not serving the same day (or if you prefer your sauce cold) store in the fridge.
  7. When ready to serve, slice pie (meringue crust will stick a bit to the pan, that’s normal) and drizzle sauce(s) of choice over the top. Yum! 🙂

Beezer’s Notes:

Mmmm, this pie was everything I expected it to be. The crunch of the almond-filled meringue was a great base for the ice cream and the sauces added an extra layer of flavor on top. Plus, if you’re like me and pour the sauces on warm, you’ll end up with a slowly melting mound of deliciousness you can scoop up around chewy meringue blobs. Desserts taste even better when they soften into fun textures – don’t deny it!

I didn’t intend to tweak much in this recipe, I just didn’t want to measure out egg whites. I decided to use three eggs’ worth instead and bumped the sugar in the meringue up to ½ Cup to compensate. I also used almonds instead of pecans since I had them on hand. The addition of a chocolate sauce was simply because one of my ice cream pints was flavored caramel (it was on sale!) and I thought that a caramel ice cream with caramel sauce might be a bit too much for some folks. Lastly, I divided up the procedure a bit in how I layered my ice cream.

To be completely honest, it wasn’t some grand plan of clean layers or impressive presentation I had in mind when I changed the filling process. I ended up freezing my first layer because I was convinced the second pint of ice cream wouldn’t fit on top! It wasn’t until the first layer had frozen solid that I decided, what the hell, and gave it a shot. Lo and behold: two whole pints fit perfectly! Of course. Why do I always doubt?? Anyway, the two-part freeze did result in lovely divided layers, though, so I decided to keep the procedure. I’m sure your pie will be delicious any way you choose to fill it. Especially with all that sauce. 😉

Overall Enjoyment: ♥    ♥    ♥    ♥

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