Wednesday, September 5, 2012

S'more Pie

I am very lucky to have a lot of people in my life that I care deeply about. These are the people that I would do almost anything for, but there are a special select few in that group of people that I would literally do ANYTHING for. We're talkin' going to the moon and back, taking a bullet, above and beyond, I would do anything. Two of the people who have been in this "I would do anything for you" group have been exclusive members since the day they were born, my cousins Lucas and Evan. As I've watched my cousins grow from newborns to the tall boys they are now, I've found myself become more and more amazed by their character. Never before have I known young boys with such wisdom, compassion, curiosity, motivation, and strength...not to mention, they're also insanely cool. At only twelve and nine years old, these boys have become my role models, reinforcing some of the most important basic life lessons that age seems to make us forget, not to mention inspiring me to embrace my talents, set goals, and be the best that I can be. With such intelligence, talent, creativity, and love, I can't help but want to spoil these boys in any way I can. With Lucas and Evan saving up to buy their own toys and gadgets, I choose to spoil them in other ways like playing silly games with them, inviting them over to the house for a swim and yummy snacks, taking them on hikes and to sporting events, and, of course, cooking and baking special treats for them! 
In the past I've made lots of fun treats that we've all enjoyed, but nothing came close to the most recent one I made for Evan on his birthday and as a belated birthday treat for Lucas, S'more Pie! Every summer we make a point of making s'mores, whether that means using the outdoor chiminea, making them in the toaster oven, or even on the gas flame on the stove, it's a summer tradition we can't go without. I had been thinking about doing something special and s'more related for Lucas' birthday in July, but unfortunately, with crazy hours at work and a cottage weekend away, I wasn't able to find the time. A few weeks ago was Evan's 9th birthday, and this time I made sure to fit some baking into my schedule. A quick Google search led me to an incredible looking recipe for S'more Pie that I knew the boys would go crazy over! I knew the boys would love the dessert but I had to find a way to make it adult friendly as well. I decided to substitute dark chocolate for the recommended semi-sweet chocolate to balance out the sweetness from the marshmallows. To give it a bit more complexity I tossed in a splash of vanilla extract to the filling and a pinch of salt to the crust. Next time I make the pie, I'd like to try adding pecans, crushed in a food processor, into the graham cracker crust.

The dessert was absolutely to die for! The boys went crazy over the it, devouring not one, but two pieces in record time, and to my surprise the adults went nuts over the pie as well! My mom, who had originally thought the dessert would be too sweet for her, kept declaring "I LOVE this!!" before going back for just a sliver more a few times. It made me so happy to see Lucas and Evan so happy enjoying the dessert I made! A true success!

Tip: The simplicity of this dessert makes this a great recipe to make with kids! I can't wait to make this with Lucas and Evan one day soon!

Adapted from Pastry Affair
Ingredients:
Crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
8 tbsp (1 stick) butter, melted
a pinch of salt
Filling & Topping
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup milk
10 ounces good quality dark chocolate, chopped (I used dark chocolate chips so I could skip the chop)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2 eggs, whisked
about a half a bag of large marshmallows

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325ยบ. 
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and salt until evenly coated. Press mixture evenly into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Keep oven on.
  3. Create a double boiler by pouring 1-2-inches of water into a saucepan, and topping with a glass or ceramic bowl, so that the bowl creates a tight seal with the saucepan and no water will boil into the bowl. Over medium heat, pour the cream and milk into the bowl. Add the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract. Slowly add the whisked eggs and mix until smooth.
  4. Pour chocolate filling into baked pie crust and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until chocolate filling is set and does not move when lightly shaken.
  5. Using kitchen shears, cut marshmallows in half. Place halves in concentric circles over the top of the pie until covered.
  6. Set oven to broil and place pie under the broiler and lightly toast the marshmallows. DO NOT LEAVE THE OVEN. They will go from lightly toasted to burnt in a matter of seconds, so be ready to take the pie out the oven as soon as the marshmallows are golden!
  7. Chill pie for 2-3 hours. To serve, cut the chilled pie into slices, and individually microwave for 10 seconds to get the perfect velvety texture! 
Listening To:
Miguel - Sure Thing

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