As you might be able to tell from the number of sweet vs savory recipes, I’m more a salty than sweet person. That said, the sweets I do enjoy tend to be a 100% sugar. Meringue and cotton candy were my true first loves.
Shoddy bakers unite!
It doesn’t help that I am a notoriously poor baker. The world seems to be divided up into people who can cook and people who can bake (and people who can do neither), and I am firmly in the first group. Cooking is easy and a lot more slap dash (to probably quote Keith Floyd). If you fuck it up you can generally add something to fix it. With baking? Not so much.
I promised myself to do more baking this year and have found American bakes tend to be perfect for anyone who is an idiot like me. I baked a glorious peach cobbler, some wonderful Christina Tosi creations and an amazing first tarte tatin (which is French, and whose success was probably more related to a month of binging Bake Off than any American influence, though I guess Netflix is American so it kind of works).
Easy as Smores Pie
I also made this ridiculously good smores pie for a friend’s birthday. I’ve always been obsessed with smores, due to the marshmallow (100% sugar) situ. But I could never figure out what an equivalent for Graham Crackers would be until an American friend helped me figure it out.
This isn’t so much baking as it is throwing shit together. Which is great.
Easy as Smores Pie
For the crust
- 2 c graham crackers or local equivalent, ground down to a course pulp
- 1/2 c unsalted butter melted
For the filling
- 3/4 c cream heavy if you can find it
- 1/4 c milk
- 275 gr dark chocolate or your variety of preference, semisweet might be nicer for kids - cut into pieces
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract get fancy with vanilla seeds if you wish
- pinch salt smoked is nice for additional oomph
- 2 large eggs whisked
- marshmallows large, how many you need will depend on you
- 1 shot dark rum optional, not when serving kids, obviously
To make the crust
- Preheat your oven to 160C/ 325F.
- Mix together the graham cracker crumbs or local equivalent in a bowl with the melted butter.
- Press the crumb and butter mixture evenly into a pie dish. You want to press quite firmly so it'll hold together once it's baked.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. Keeping a keen eye out because the edges can burn really quickly if you're not mindful.
To make the filling
- Whisk together the cream and milk and warm gently over a low heat.
- Melt in the chocolate.
- Take off the heat and whisk in the vanilla, eggs and salt and whisk until smooth. If your chocolate and cream mixture is very hot, be sure to let it cool down enough so the eggs don't scramble. Add in your shot of rum or other drank you fancy, if adding any, now.
- Pour the chocolate into the baked crust and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until the chocolate is set. Make a little tent out of tinfoil to protect your pie crust from burning if that happens before the chocolate is set.
- Remove the pie from the oven.
For the topping
- Cut your marshmallows in half (I found scissors are easiest for this) and squish as many on top of your baked pie, cut side down, as you can until the filling is completely covered.
- Set your oven to grill and place your rack when slot down if you can.
- Place your pie in the oven and sit there like a Bake Off contestant, hunched in front of your oven, until the marshmallows start to turn. You may want to turn your pie round every so often to ensure an even coloring. Be sure to take your pie out of the oven BEFORE the marshmallows start to burn.
- Feel a slight tinge of sadness when you take the pie out and the marshmallows start to slump. Leave to cool for 2 hours before tucking in.