What do you mean there’s no more pie?

But I want s’more!

Outdoor party and campfire season is upon us! And that means one of my all time favorite foods. S’mores. I am an absolute sucker for those ooey, gooey chocolate and marshmallow packets of graham goodness. It’s a problem. I can be about to leave and if offered a s’more, I will always stay.

Always.

But not just any s’more flavored thing. I don’t like s’more ice cream, or cereal. Admittedly, I do only eat s’more pop tarts (and those very rarely). It has to be the real, genuine article. I know I make them all the time in the oven, but it’s just not the same. It needs the smoke. The intense, fiery heat. The wooden stick. Friends laughing and lighting their marshmallows on fire…Maybe what I’m tasting is nostalgia.

That must be it.

Never the less, I have seen many a s’more pie floating around the internet. I was invited camping, and to a Memorial Day party and thought what better time to try out a s’more inspired pie that right now. I mean, there would be fire and friends at both of those activities. And, I reasoned, if the pie didn’t turn out quite what I expected, then at least there would be REAL s’mores.

And yes, I brought a pie camping. In the woods. Shut up. I’m a classy lady.

I started with the King Arthur Flour S’more Pie recipe, and then used Bright Eyed Baker’s marshmallow cream recipe. I don’t know if you recall the last time I made marshmallows….but it wasn’t super great. They tasted fine, but the texture was so off it wasn’t funny. So, I did some research and liked what I saw in that one. And…as an added bonus, the marshmallow actually toasts. Amazing.

Holy. Crap. This pie was great. Really great. My only word of advice is to make sure that the pie is well chilled. It needs it. While it tastes great as a soup (telling you from experience–camping we had s’more soup pie) it tastes better as a slice that can actually hold its shape.

So go make this right now. It serves at least 12. And that’s with huge slices.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter

Filling

  • 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (trust me)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Marshmallow Cream

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 5 1/2 ounces granulated sugar, divided (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 9 ounces light corn syrup (3/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. To make the crust: Crush the ever-loving crap out of your graham crackers (if you haven’t already done so. This is a fabulous stress reliever). s10 s9
  3. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt, and melted butter, using just enough melted butter to “dampen” the crumbs without making them at all wet, greasy looking, or sticky. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ pie pan.s8
  4.  Bake the crust for 10 to 14 minutes, until it feels set and is barely beginning to brown around the edges. Remove the crust from the oven; turn off the oven; you won’t need it anymore.s6
  5. s7To make the filling: Place the chocolate chips, salt, sugar, and espresso powder in a blender or food processor and pulse until finely ground.
  6. Heat the cream to just below a boil, with small bubbles forming around the edge of the saucepan (or microwave-safe bowl).
  7. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate mixture. Let sit for 30 seconds. Turn on the blender, and process until smooths5. Scrape down the sides of the container if necessary. Add the vanilla and the egg. Pulse to blend until smooth.
  8. Pour the filling into the crust; it’ll come about halfway to two-thirds up. Set the pie aside while you make the topping.s4
  9. While the pie cools, make the marshmallow cream.
  10. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the cream of tartar over them. Turn the mixer on and beat, increasing the speed to medium-high, until the eggs starts to get light, airy, and frothy. With the mixer running, slowly pour in 7/8 ounce (2 tablespoons) granulated sugar. Continue to beat until firm (but not stiff) peaks form. Set aside.s3
  11. Fit a small saucepan with a candy thermometer, or have a reliable digital thermometer ready nearby. Combine water, sugar, and corn syrup in the saucepan and stir together. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and then, using a heat-safe spatula, stir very frequently as you cook the syrup mixture to 240°F, maintaining a consistent boil. Once at 240°F, remove from the heat immediately.
  12. Start the mixer on second speed and slowly pour the syrup in as it mixes until all of the syrup has been added. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl if needed, and then increase speed to medium-high and beat for another 5 minutes. The mixture should have expanded and you should now have a white creme that’s able to hold some shape. Add the vanilla, wipe down the bowl and beater, and beat for about 1 more minute, until the mixture is even in color again and has reached the desired consistency of marshmallow creme.s2
  13.  Scoop the marshmallow atop the chocolate, quickly spreading it out as evenly as possible over the surface of the pie. It should be soft enough that you can do this.
  14. If desired, run the pie under a hot broiler to brown the surface; this should take less than 60 seconds, so watch it carefully.final
  15. Let the pie cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, then refrigerate it until it’s completely chilled, at least 4 hours; overnight is fine. Cover it with plastic wrap that doesn’t touch its surface; a plastic shower cap or bowl cover is a good choice here.
  16. Serve the pie cold.

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What do you get if you cross a dog with a daisy?

A Colli-Flower!6Glorious day friends! Springs is upon us! Mostly for real this time. As the weather warms up, my appetite winds down. I get cravings for salad and sandwiches and meals stuffed with veggies. I guess that makes sense, because there is more fresh produce available.

So, as much as I love veggies and salad, I still get hungry. And want something satisfying, even if I don’t eat tons of it.

Enter the savory cauliflower cake of today’s post. This thing is delicious. It tastes like meatloaf, without, you know, actual meat. It’s ridiculous. It’s protein packed with chickpea flour and eggs. There are roasted red peppers and onion and really anything else you could want to put into it. 3A note about the chickpea flour…don’t worry, I know you’re probably thinking…ugh, I don’t want to have to track this stuff down. It can be really expensive if you buy it in the grocery store (if you can even find it in the grocery store). But, I have a much easier and more economical suggestion. If you buy a bag of dried chickpeas when they’re on sale, and then grind it yourself in your blender or food processor…it’s the same thing. For less money. And all grocery stores have dried chickpeas. And you can get them for about a dollar a bag on sale.

The original recipe today called for feta and dill and some other things that I didn’t have…so I adapted, as usual. It uses a lot of eggs, but it feeds a lot of people. At least 8 as a meal. If you’re having it as a snack, well, you will be set for days.

Savory Cauliflower Cake
Adapted from Eating Well

Ingredients51 medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), trimmed and broken into small florets
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3/4 teaspoon caraway seed, ground or crushed
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, or to taste
3/4 tsp salt, divided
3/4 c garbanzo bean flour
1/4 c all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
1/2 tsp baking powder
6 large eggs
1 roasted red pepper, jarred or homemade
1/2 c grated Parmesan

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.
  2. Bring about 1 inch of water to a boil in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket. Add cauliflower and steam until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Add caraway seed, coriander, crushed red pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Gently stir in the steamed cauliflower, doing your best not to break up the florets, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes to combine the flavors.
  5. Whisk garbanzo bean flour, all-purpose flour (or gluten-free blend), baking powder and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl.
  6. Whisk eggs in a large bowl until mixed. Sprinkle the dry ingredients over the eggs and whisk to combine and eliminate most of the lumps.
  7. Stir in roasted red pepper, cheese, and 2 tablespoons dill. Add the cauliflower mixture and gently stir to combine.
  8. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.4
  9. Bake until the top is golden and the cake is set, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool to warm; remove the pan sides and the parchment.2
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature.1

What part did the egg play in the movie?

He was an eggs-tra.

I don’t know how it happened, but one day in New Zealand my flatmates found out I had never had pavlova, and they about died. It was described to me, I was assured that it was a NEW ZEALAND dish, no matter what those Australians say, and that it is always eaten with fresh whipped cream, kiwi, and shaved chocolate.

Then they proceeded to make one. It was all precision and measurement. Room temperature egg whites, making sure no one touched the oven for at least 12 hours after it was done cooking, so it could cool overnight, a hint of vanilla, white vinegar ONLY.

By the time we actually ate it, I was pretty much convinced that I would never be able to make it myself.

Then I had it out at restaurants….and holy moly. That’s just a whole different pavlova game.

When I came home, I really wanted pavlova, so I decided to make it for my friends and family for Christmas Eve. I was really nervous and worried. I got Claire and Amy’s recipe and whipped one up. I found out of season in the US kiwis and made my own cream and everything.

And it came out beautifully. Now I am a convert, and tell everyone they need to eat it and try to make it for every occasion I can.

One of my dear friends passed the Bar and was recently sworn in to be an official lawyer, so we threw her a party to celebrate. I made mini pavlovas. I hadn’t made these for this group of friends yet. While there was some reservation within the group about trying it, they all did…and I think they were all well satisfied.

This recipe is Claire and Amy’s recipe, but tweaked a bit, since I can’t leave well-enough alone, and because I like to see how far I can push things to make them easier and still delicious. It is less fussy, you don’t have to wait as long for the oven to cool, and it comes out all caramelly and wonderful.

Claire and Amy’s Pavlova

Ingredients15 large egg whites
1
pinch of salt
1 c caster sugar (super fine sugar, regular sugar works too)

2
teaspoons cornflour (corn starch)
1
scant teaspoon vanilla extract
1
teaspoons white wine vinegar
750
ml whipping cream (whipped)
2-3 ripe kiwi
good quality chocolate for shaving over the top

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Whisk the egg whites with the salt until they’re holding firm peaks but are not stiff. 2Gently add in the sugar, spoonful after spoonful, still beating, until you’ve got a bowl full of gleaming, satiny, snowy meringue. 3 4 5Sprinkle the cornflour, a few drops of vanilla and the vinegar on top and fold in to combine.6
  3. Spoon the meringue onto the baking parchment into delineated circles, and spread and smooth to fill. 7You want to make the meringue slightly higher at the rims, or just use the back of the spoon to make an indentation in the center to hold the cream and fruit later. There should be about 6 mini meringues per baking sheet.8
  4. Put into the oven, turn it down to 300ºF, and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave them in for another 30 minutes, then take out of the oven to cool. I just transfer them, on their baking parchment, to wire racks.10
  5. When you want to assemble them, dollop cream into the indentation, and smooth it with the back of a spoon, leaving the odd peak. 11Place, one by one, sliced pieces of kiwi so that they look well filled but not crammed. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings.12
  6. Enjoy.13