Happy Labor Day weekend! What are your plans? We are undecided at the moment, but are kicking things off with dinner somewhere new in downtown Austin and (hopefully, probably) margaritas of some sort. It's sure to be a grand ole time!
This week I have been surprisingly very motivated and have gone to the gym almost everyday, and now I am so sore all over. I'm hoping this means I did something right. I also went through a drive-thru by myself in my car and it made me so ridiculously happy (like you have no idea). Call me lazy and/or crazy, but after walking everywhere in NYC and waiting in long lines to eat almost anywhere, I missed the luxury of driving in my car with blasted A/C, listening to my 1989 CD, and ordering something off the menu without getting out of my car. Top 20 best feelings in the world ever (I guess).
This summer has been full of discoveries, including discovering more about myself, blah blah blah, but I did discover something new about myself after this blog post and the current one I'm writing, and this is it:
I kindaaa hate baking. I feel so bad saying it. But I seriously would rather run 5 miles than go through making another pie or cake again. (This is extremely likely to change once pumpkin season arrives.)
Maybe it's because I baked two time-intensive things back to back, or because I'm in a weird mood. But, I realized I much prefer savory foods over sweet any day, it's more practical (to me) to cook something I can eat for dinner instead of having to make dinner in addition to a baked good, and I am a much better cook than a baker. Maybe it's the measuring, the 1 MILLION ingredients, or my current state of mind. I don't know. All I know is, at this current moment, I love cooking, forever and ever, and baking can go away into the "upside down" where (hopefully) Eleven is still alive!
Now that that's off my chest, let's discuss this pie. I'd been wanting to make a smores pie for probably close to 2 years, but I didn't think I could do it without a brulee torch. I did some research (all listed below within the directions), and there were easy-enough ways around it! You also need a candy thermometer, but I was able to make mine without, so you definitely could too. I realized I had not had a single smore this summer, and as it's now September, this was ridiculous. This pie tasted so much like a smore, and the pretzel crust gave me the salty kick I was searching for, after coming to the realization that I need more savory things in my life, as opposed to sweet. It's also very rich, so maybe share some slices with your new neighbor (like we did!), and then you have a new friend for life. I also think smores and the end of summer and Labor Day weekend all go hand-in-hand, don't you?
Smores Pie w/ Pretzel Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 cup graham crackers
- 1/2 cup pretzels
- 1 stick (8 tbl.) melted butter
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup water (additional)
To make the crust: In a food processor, crush graham crackers and pretzels until fine. In a medium-sized bowl, combine crushed graham crackers, pretzels, and melted butter. Mix together with hands, until butter is fully incorporated. Grease a 9" pie pan with butter, and pour in crust mixture, pressing against sides of the pan and the bottom until there is an even layer. Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes.
To make the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium saucepan, heat cream until hot, but do not boil. Pour cream over the chocolate, and slowly stir together until chocolate completely melts. Crack in the egg and add a pinch of salt, and whisk together until mixture thickens and egg is fully incorporated. Pour into chilled pie crust, and bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until filling is set. Move to refrigerator, and let pie cool completely.
To make the marshmallow topping: In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, pour in 1/4 cup of water and the gelatin. (This will get the gelatin activated while you make the syrup.)
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add sugar, honey, and water. Stir together until evenly mixed. Heat until a candy thermometer reads 260 degrees. If you don't have a thermometer (I did not!!), heat until the mixture reaches hard-ball stage. You can test this by simply dropping a spoonful of the syrup into a glass of water. It should be a thick, ropy, syrup consistency. You should be able to reach in and form a ball with your fingers that will stay together. (This isn't as scary as it sounds!) Once the syrup is ready, start mixer on low speed and slowly add in syrup. Slowly increase speed of the mixer, and beat until white and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
Spoon the marshmallow fluffiness onto the completely chilled pie. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes.
To toast the marshmallow: Brulee with a torch until marshmallow is toasted to your liking. If you do not have a torch (me), turn the broiler on in your oven. Cover the crust with foil so that it doesn't burn. Using the rack closest to the top part of the oven, slide the pie on top and broil for 30-45 seconds. This did not take long in my oven, so just keep an eye on it. If you over-toast it (again, me), do not freak out. Simply scrape or pull off the burnt edge (as you would a real marshmallow at the campfire), and brulee again.
Let sit for 15 minutes, and then slice with a knife that has been run under hot water. Enjoy!