Though nothing more than a stout, barrel-shaped mound of solidified sugar, the fluffy treats always find their way into summer barbecues, specifically in the form of s'mores. Then the idea hit me; we had leftover graham cracker crumbs lying around anyway.
The steps to create this Layered S'Mores Pie are straightforward, albeit time-consuming and labour-intensive. Results are quite worthwhile though: an airy cloud of sweetness hovering over silky chocolate custard and a crunchy crust is a wonderful way to polish off a meal, even if I do say so myself. (You'll notice the extravagant appeal by the hasty number of images that were captured.)
Be sure to pay extra attention the adjusted ingredient amounts, since my intention was to craft a specimen of smaller scale as opposed to a traditional round pie.
(Recipe adapted from MYRECIPES.com)
- 1.25 cups Honey Maid graham cracker crumbs *
- 1/2 cup finely crushed nuts *
- 3/8 cup (or 6 tbsp) unsalted butter
(Recipe adapted from Incredible Egg)
- 2 egg yolks + 1 egg
- 1/4 cup cream
- 3/8 cup milk *
- 1 tbsp tapioca starch (or custard powder)
- 2 tbsp cocao powder *
- pinch of salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp almond extract (opt.)
- 3 tbsp sugar syrup *
- zest of 1 lime (opt.)
- 12 (+3) large marshmallows *
- 2 egg whites, chilled
- 1 tbsp sugar syrup (or corn syrup)
1) Grease and line the bottom of your tart pan of choice with parchment paper; lining the sides of the pan is optional, though ensure that the sides are greased well if not lining. (I utilized a narrow loaf pan for this recipe, but feel free to use a wide shallow dish if desired.) Set aside.
2) In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt butter at intervals of 50 seconds until completely dissolved. Let cool slightly.
3) Add in graham cracker crumbs and crushed nuts. Toss to combine.
4) Once fully incorporated, press into the lined pan and compact with the back of a spoon. Distribute the mixture such that the corners are filled and the surface is level.
5) Chill in the refrigerator while preparing the custard layer.
ii) Chocolate Custard
1) Whisk egg yolks and whole egg in a large, heatproof bowl.
2) Add in cream and milk and mix well.
3) Sift in tapioca starch, cocoa powder, and salt. Incorporate once more.
4) Add in sugar syrup, vanilla extract, and, if using, almond extract and lime zest. Mix well.
5) Bring water to roaring bowl in a medium saucepan. Reduce to medium-high heat and place custard mixture on top. This will act as a double boiler.
6) Continually stir the mixture with a whisk as it cooks to prevent scrambling of the eggs. Should the water bubble too vigorously, reduce the heat to medium. Continue stirring while scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Immediately break apart any lumps should they appear.
7) The mixture will continue to thicken over time, demanding quickened stirring with increase viscosity. The entire congealing process averages fifteen to twenty minutes.
8) Once a soft custard is formed, remove from heat and let cool to room temp.
9) Retrieve crust from refrigerator and spread chocolate custard on top in a smooth, even layer.
10) Cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a film from forming on the surface. Allow to chill for at least two hours.
iii) Marshmallow Crème
1) Utilizing the double boiler method described in the above section, melt 12 large marshmallows in a large, heatproof bowl over medium-high heat until they reach a semi-aqueous state. It is highly recommended to grease the bowl beforehand to ease transfer of the mixture later.
2) Drizzle sugar syrup into the bowl just before the marshmallows completely disintegrate. Mix while scraping down the sides of the bowl.
3) While the marshmallows disintegrate, retrieve the chilled egg whites from the refrigerator and beat until stiff peaks form.
4) Once marshmallows are completely dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
5) Transfer one third of the marshmallow mixture into the meringue. Beat to combine. Repeat this step with the remaining marshmallow mixture.
1) Remove chilled crust and custard from the refrigerator. Carefully remove from pan and peel off parchment paper. Set onto your serving plate of choice. Peel off plastic wrap when ready to assemble.
2) Spoon and smooth marshmallow creme mixture on top of the chocolate custard in a uniform layer. One can also choose to pipe the mixture on top for added flair.
3) With a kitchen blowtorch, char the surface of the meringue until golden brown.
4) Dust with cocoa powder (optional).
5) Slice and serve with fresh fruit. Enjoy!
- This crust is comprised of both Honey Maid graham cracker crumbs and finely crushed assorted nuts, though feel free to adjust the ratio of either element to your liking. Those with nut allergies may choose a base made entirely of graham crumbs. Regardless of substitutions, it is crucial that the same consistency be maintained for proper compaction.
- Alternatively, one can use his or her own tried-and-true crust recipe.
- 2% milk was utilized in this recipe, though both non-dairy milks could be another option. This substitution has not been tested, however, so similar results cannot be guaranteed with the lowered fat content.
- The amount of cocoa powder used in the recipe can be adjusted to taste. (I used 2 tbsp as it yielded a nice, rich depth.)
- Almond extract and lime zest are optional additions; they can be swapped for rum extract or orange zest if the heart desires.
- Chung Jung Won Cooking Syrup was my choice of sweetener for this recipe. It is a sugar syrup slightly thickened with starch for speedier cooking. Should this option not be available at your local Korean supermarket, granulated white sugar or regular corn syrup should also suffice.
- Mini marshmallows can also be used in place of large marshmallows to speed up the melting process.
- As I had used a loaf pan, I reserved three marshmallows to press along the length of the pie prior to spreading the marshmallow crème on top. This additional step is completely optional though contributes chewiness the final result.
- It should be noted that I did not intend for the crust layer to be thicker than the custard layer. Ideally, all three layers should be relatively similar thickness, however the thicker crust enabled the specimen to be sturdier and also crunchier.