Posted on Monday, 25th February 2013 by Grace Massa Langlois
My husband and I couldn’t be more different, city girl meets small town boy. When we decided to have our home custom built there wasn’t much we agreed upon but there was one thing neither of us could be without, a fire pit. Throughout the summer it was a ritual, after the sun went down Moe would head back to the pit and get the fire started and the kids and I would gather up the fixings, graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows, for our favourite summer-time treat, S’mores. The neighbours would stop by and we would spend hours by the crackling fire singing and, telling ghost stories.
Summer may be months away but I thought I would make a grown up version of the campfire treat for the kids and their friends, Baileys S’mores Pie. I can’t help but think where did the time go? I can’t believe we’ve been in the house almost fifteen years; it seems like only yesterday we were disagreeing about almost everything. Moe always pretended to put up a fight but in the end he always let me get my own way.
When we first moved to the outskirts of the city our three-street neighbourhood was the closest you could get to the country without living in the country. Open fields surrounded our little neighbourhood. The main street in the village was lined with specialty shops and teahouses. Unfortunately the open fields and charming village have been replaced with high-rises, big box stores and, restaurants.
One of the things we argued about most was location, Moe wanted to live in the country, I wanted to live in the city and my parents wanted us to move in next door. Thankfully, Moe and I compromised because moving this close to the country afforded us a larger piece of property and although everything has changed around us when the kids and I are enjoying time in our backyard it’s like nothing’s changed. And as far as my parents go, time hasn’t changed my mother’s feelings on the subject; she’s still complaining that we moved all the way across town.
Moe, the skilled outdoorsman, was convinced that you needed a perfectly roasted marshmallow to make the best s’mores (I’m sure we all agree because it’s the roasted marshmallow flavour that makes the s’mores so special). And he told us, repeatedly, that he was a marshmallow-roasting expert and that his technique was the best technique. What’s the best marshmallow roasting technique according to Moe?
Place the marshmallow on the end of the stick but do not, I repeat, do not pierce it all the way through (does it really matter?). Sit back in your chair and with beer in one hand and stick in the other, position the marshmallow, not over the flame, not in the flame, just beside the flame. To roast the marshmallow, keep turning the stick until it’s golden all over and the inside is gooey. And the most important rule, do not let the marshmallow catch a flame! (Burnt taste – not so special.)
This S’mores Pie incorporates all the flavours and textures reminiscent of our favourite summer-time treat with a twist. I lined the pie with a simple graham cracker crust lightly sweetened with confectioners’ sugar. When preparing a pie crust like this one where you’re in essence creating a shell because you’re covering the base and sides it’s better to bake the crust so that it’s sturdier.
Baking the crust also gives the shell a crispier texture and makes it tastier. It’s important to remove the shell from the oven just as it turns a deep golden brown colour. Baking too long will give the crust a burnt taste (again, not so special).
I filled the pie with a rich, thick and creamy chocolate ganache, which is flavoured with vanilla bean and Baileys. The Baileys gives the bittersweet chocolate ganache a distinct taste making it that much more indulgent. For the grand finale, the pièce de résistance - thick swirls of toasted marshmallow meringue.
No campfire, not to worry, this S’mores Pie incorporates all the traditional elements of the classic S’mores.
Did I mention that the pie didn’t last long? Matt had plate in hand before I’d finished spooning the meringue over top. And when I had to break the news that he had to wait until Liana came home from work to take the images, he wasn’t a happy camper. In this case the sentiment “anticipation makes the heart grow fonder” couldn’t be truer.
Baileys S’mores Pie
Makes one 23 cm (9-inch) pie
- Graham Cracker Crust
- Baileys-Chocolate Ganache
- Marshmallow Meringue
Graham Cracker Crust
- Unsalted butter, softened, for greasing
- 226 g (8 ounces) graham crackers (about 34 individual crackers)
- 23 g (3 tablespoons) confectioners’ sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 85 g (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat oven to 180° C (350° F). Unlatch 23 cm (9-inch) springform pan, flip the base over and reassemble the pan making sure the lip of the base is facing down (flipping the base over will make removal of the pie much easier because you can simply, with the help of an offset spatula, slide the pie onto a cake plate or stand). Using pastry brush, lightly grease base and sides of springform pan with softened butter (stopping about 4 cm or 1½ inches from the top of the pan).
- In bowl of food processor, process crackers to fine crumb.
- Add the sugar and salt and, process for about 30 seconds to combine well.
- Add the melted butter and process until crumbs are evenly moistened.
- Transfer crumb to springform pan. Press the mixture into the base and up the sides of the pan stopping about 4 cm (1½ inches) from the top of the pan.
- Transfer to the oven and bake until deep golden brown (but not burnt), 12 to 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack. Let stand until completely cooled. (Do not unmould the crust.)
- 454 g (16 ounces) good quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped with serrated knife
- 420 ml (14 ounces) heavy cream, 35%
- 75 ml (¼ cup + 1 tablespoon) Baileys Irish Cream
- 1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
- Place chocolate into heatproof bowl.
- In small saucepan, bring cream, Baileys, vanilla seeds and pod just to a boil (small bubbles just beginning to form around the sides of the pan).
- Remove from heat and pour the cream mixture through fine mesh sieve over the chocolate. Let stand, 2 minutes.
- Using flexible rubber spatula, stir the chocolate mixture, beginning in the centre of the bowl and working your way to the edges, pulling in as much chocolate as possible until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
- Let stand, stirring occasionally until thickened but still pourable, about 20 minutes.
- Pour the ganache into the cooled crust. Tap springform pan gently on countertop to remove any air bubbles that may have formed. Let stand, at room temperature, until completely cooled.
- Cover with plastic wrap, transfer to the refrigerator, and chill until set, at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
- 4 large egg whites, room temperature
- 169 g (¾ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
- 150 ml (½ cup + 2 tablespoons) corn syrup
- 60 ml (¼ cup) water
- Pinch of salt
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Place egg whites in bowl of stand mixer fitted with whip attachment.
- To prepare sugar syrup, combine sugar, corn syrup and water in small saucepan. Cook over high heat, stirring continuously until sugar is dissolved.
- Continue to cook, without stirring, occasionally swirling the pan over the heat and, brushing down the sides of the pan with pastry brush dipped in water, until the sugar syrup reaches temperature of 121° C (249° F).
- When sugar syrup reaches temperature of 115° C (239° F) begin beating the egg whites at low speed until foamy. Add salt and cream of tartar, increase mixer speed to medium-high and, beat until soft peaks form (should reach soft peak stage at the same time the sugar syrup temperature of 121° C (249° F).
- Decrease mixer speed to medium and with mixer running, carefully pour the sugar syrup in a steady stream down the side of the bowl into the egg white foam (make sure syrup does not come in contact with the whip attachment). Add the vanilla, increase mixer speed to high and continue to beat until the egg foam is cool (place hand on the underside of the bowl and make sure bowl is no longer hot) thick, glossy and, stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes.
- Remove pie from refrigerator. Unlatch springform fan and, carefully with the help of an offset spatula, slide the pie onto a cake plate or stand.
- Spoon the meringue onto the surface of the pie, leaving about a 13 mm (½ inch) border so that some of the chocolate ganache is visible.
- Using the back of a spoon or large offset spatula, create large swirls and peaks in the meringue.
- Toast the meringue using a kitchen blowtorch. (Do not keep the flame in one position for too long otherwise the meringue will catch a flame and burn.)
Tags: after school treat, afternoon tea, cake, cakes, chocolate, chocolate cake, chocolate dessert, chocolate desserts, chocolate ganache, chocolate pie, dessert, desserts, desserts for entertaining, easy chocolate desserts, food, food photography, food photos, frosting, ganache, graham cracker crust, Italian meringue, marshmallow desserts, pie crusts, quick and easy, quick and easy desserts, quick desserts, s'mores, tart crusts, tarts
Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Crostate, Custards, Creams & Mousses, Fillings, Frostings & Dessert Sauces, Pies & Tarts, Recipes, Ricette di Base