All day Saturday, visions of a pie from one of my cooking magazines danced through my head: S'mores Pie. Imagine the crunch of a graham cracker crust, the smooth creaminess of chocolate pudding, and the sticky sweetness of bruleed marshmallow topping.
When I was still thinking about the pie during my long walk on Sunday morning, I decided it was time to make the pie. I couldn't find the exact recipe, and the one I found on epicurious.com wasn't exactly what I had in mind. It was time to improvise.
While so much of baking is an intricate chemical reaction, pie begs for freestylin'. Just watch the fabulous film Waitress if you need a little inspiration.
I bought an Arrowhead Mills graham cracker crust; while the graham flavor is a little assertive, this crust contains NO high fructose corn syrup and NO trans fats. I also bought a jar of marshmallow fluff, which is almost 100% high fructose corn syrup. I figure they cancel one another out.
I searched epicurious.com and Cooking Light for chocolate pudding recipes, and decided to adapt an recipe from epicurious.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the crust until it is golden brown. Next, make the pudding.
Dark Chocolate Pudding
1/3 c sugar
1/3 c cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)
2 TBS cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
2 c fat free organic milk
3.5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used 70% Lindt Excellence)
1 TBS espresso (I used espresso powder dissolved in hot water)
1 tsp vanilla
Whisk together first four ingredients in a medium saucepan. Add 1/3 cup milk to make a paste. Then add the remaining milk and whisk over medium heat. Cook until the mixture bubbles and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate, espresso, and vanilla.
Pour the hot pudding into the crust and allow to cool for one hour at room temperature. Cover the pudding with a piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper, pressed down over the surface of the pudding. Then refrigerate the pie until chilled--overnight would be splendid if you can wait (I couldn't).
When the pie has chilled, and right before you're ready to serve, turn on the broiler. Spread a generous layer of marshmallow fluff over the pie (it will be sticky and tricky so be patient). Stick the pie under the broiler and brown the marshmallow topping. Your home will fill with the scent of toasting marshmallows, minus the campfire smoke.
You may want to very briefly chill the pie before serving so it has time to set and will hold together better when you cut it (although this is highly theoretical. I did chill my pie at this point but it still spilled out over the crust when I cut it).
Enjoy with a mug of strong coffee and conversation with friends.