I love s’mores. Who doesn’t, really? But I do not like camping, so the opportunities to indulge in said chocolatey, mashmallowy treats shrinks significantly. Until now that is! Through my digital stalking of a number of prominent food bloggers, I came across a recipe that is so inherently perfect, so attainable, I was ashamed that I hadn’t thought of it before… s’mores pie!

S’MORES PIE, FOR PETE’S SAKE!

Yes, I was mildly excited, so I decided to give it a shot as a welcome-to-SF treat for my little brother when he visited last month. I had the chocolate and the sugar and the candy thermometer. Everything was going well until I went renegade and made a crumbly almond meal crust and put it all into my tart pan. Oh, lord. My proportions were a little wrong, but I wasn’t going to let that deter me. I steamed right ahead, working diligently until it came time for the marshmallows… I used the raw natural cane sugar I keep in the house, which, while delicious, will not yield pure white marshmallows – so I ended up with a beigey syrupy mess! And I neglected to consider one minor detail… I had no hand mixer and marshmallows are practically impossible to make by hand! I gave it a valiant effort, but ended up with a very weird situation. It was tasty enough, but I wasn’t satisfied so I vowed to give it a second go!

Flash forward a couple weeks to when my ego had mended, I had received a hand mixer as a wildly thoughtful gift from an old NYC friend, and my talented SF pal invited us over for a mini dinner party of slow-cooked brisket and greens. A-ha, I thought, what a perfect opportunity to try that damned s’mores pie again! And this time, I was going to do it right.

Started out with a handful of graham crackers…

Gingerly placed them into a ziploc bag and karate chopped them into submission. Once I had about 1.5 cups worth of crumbs, I added 5 tbsp of melted salted butter. This yielded a pretty crumbly crust (which I liked), but in the future I’d probably add a little more.

Then I buttered my pie plate (no more tart pan for me!) and pressed the crust into the bottom and up the sides.

Popped it into a 350 degree oven for 12 minutes and then let it cool on the rack!

Then it was time for my favorite part… the chocolate! I brought 1 cup heavy cream just to the boil in a heavy saucepan…

Then I added the hot cream to 7 oz of finely chopped dark chocolate. Let it set for a minute to allow the chocolate to melt, then I whisked it all together with a pinch of salt and 1 room temperature egg. Once that was all smooth, into the pie crust it went!

Covered the edges with foil and then sent it back into the oven at 350 for 20-25 minutes, just until the center trembles slightly when shaken.

While the pie was cooling on the rack, I tackled those damn marshmallows again, and this time I wasn’t going to lose. I started out by sprinkling 1 tsp of unflavored gelatin into 1/4 cup cold water in a large heatproof bowl (I used my trusty stainless steel mixing bowl). Left that alone while I worked on the marshmallows. I was smart this time and got superwhite granulated sugar.

I mixed 1 cup sugar with 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup light corn syrup and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and brought it to a boil, stirring until the sugar was dissolved…

Then I slapped my candy thermometer in there and let it boil until it registered 250 (just passed the firm ball stage). This took about 10 minutes for me, but apparently the norm is around 6 minutes.

As soon as the marshmallow syrup reached the right temperature, I had to work very quickly and efficiently… Started out by beating the softened gelatin & water mixture with my handy mixer (tee hee!) at medium speed. Then I slowly poured in the syrup in a steady stream (avoiding the beaters and the sides of the bowl). Once it was all in, I increased the speed to high and kept beating until the marshmallows had tripled in volume (took about 8-10 minutes). I had a brief scare when my glorious white mallows started to turn a little beigey… oh no, I thought, I’ve done it again! But much to my surprise, they quickly turned right back into the fluffy white goodness. I have no explanation for it, but I’m just glad it turned out right! Added a bit of vanilla extract and they were done!

Scooped the mallows onto the cooled pie…

They were taking a long time to spread, so against the suggestions of every food blogger in the digiworld, I used my silicone spatula to spread the marshmallows to the edges of the pie. Things were a little sticky, but completely manageable, so I say, go ahead and mess with the mallows if they’re not doing what you want them to!

I still had plenty o’ time before the party, so I covered the pie with some lightly oiled saran wrap and put it in the fridge for a few hours. Trust me on the oiling of the saran wrap… I didn’t oil it when I covered my first attempt at this pie and it was a disaster! The wrap basically adhered to the mashmallow-ish topping and when I tried to remove it, half the topping came off with it. I was devastated. Devastated.

Party time came and we headed over to my pal’s apt in the Mission, Spencer holding Nina’s leash and me cradling the pie. We gorged on spectacular brisket sandwiches and mac&cheese and drank way too much calimocho. Soon it came time for the moment of truth… the broiling. I crossed myself, as did the others, and I sent my work of confectionery art into the hot broiler, rotating it probably more than was necessary…

The final product, you ask?

Whew! Delicious.

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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