There was a brief and lovely Two Carolines reunion over the weekend (with most of the rest of the family) and of course—there had to be a dessert party. I wanted something that would feed the whole crew and that could be prepared ahead of time. I dug back into the family archives and found this dessert that came from family on my mom’s side. It’s almost like a Pavlova, but with some extra ingredients that add to the texture and flavor. It is one of those desserts that all the kids and adults were devouring and wanting seconds and thirds. It takes some time to make it, but each step is pretty easy and it’s totally worth it.
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temp.
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups small marshmallows
- 1 pint cream, whipped
- 1 (16 oz.) bag of frozen berries, thawed
- Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until frothy. Add the salt and sugar; whip 10-15 minutes in stand mixer.
- Spread in an 11×15 inch greased pan. Bake one hour at 250-275 degrees. Turn off oven and leave in overnight.
- Mix the cream cheese, sugar and the vanilla until smooth and creamy. Add the marshmallows and mix until incorporated. Gently fold in whipped cream until mixture is uniform. Spread evenly on meringue layer. Cover with plastic wrap.
- Chill 8-10 hours.
- To serve, cut into squares and top with spoonful of thawed mixed berries.
It’s the end of summer dreams that make me feel fine, but I’m going to squeeze ever last ounce out of it—and what is more summer than campfires and s’mores? Don’t tell me other things cause that ruins my train of thought and my segue into talking about this pie, and TRUST when I say you want me to get to it as quickly as possible. A graham cracker crust with a pinch of salt, a creamy chocolate middle and roasted marshmallows topped with coconut and chocolate chips, juuuuust for fun.
For the crust
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10-15 graham crackers)
- 8 tablespoons melted butter
- Pinch of salt
For the filling
- 7 ounces milk or dark chocolate, or a mixture of both, broken into chunks
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 egg
- Pinch of salt
For the topping
- 1 bag marshmallows (I used big ones and chopped them in varying sizes, just for fun)
- 1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- Make the crust. Crumble graham crackers into the work bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. Or just put them in a bag and take our your aggressions with any instrument you find necessary until they are finely crushed. Add salt and pour melted butter over the crumbs and mix until the butter is fully incorporated and the texture is that of wet sand. Butter or oil a 9-inch pie pan and firmly press the graham cracker crumbs against the sides, then against the bottom of the pan. Chill for at least 30 minutes to avoid crumbling when serving (I chilled for a few hours, just to be safe).
- While the crust chills, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare the chocolate filling. Put the chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan until scalded — do not boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 1 minute. Whisk the cream and chocolate together until glossy and smooth. Add a pinch of salt, then crack the egg into the chocolate mixture and whisk to fully incorporate. Pour into chilled crust and bake for 25 minutes, or until the filling is set but still slightly wobbly in the center. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
- Once pie is cooled, top with marshmallows and brûlée until about half done. Then add coconut and torch again until desired level of toastiness. Immediately add chocolate chips so that they melt a little bit on the hot marshmallows. ***For this process, a torch is best (a propane torch from the hardware store or a butane crème brûlée torch). If using a torch, clear the area of any flammable items, ignite the torch, and slowly wave the flame over the surface of the marshmallow until you get the roasting just right. If you do not have a torch, use the broiler of your oven. Preheat the broiler, cover the edges of the pie crust with foil or pie shields, place the pie on a baking sheet and broil — watching carefully to prevent burning — for 2 to 3 minutes, rotating as necessary.
- To slice the pie, it helps to dip your knife in hot water, then dry it with a towel. The heat facilitates easy slicing through the marshmallow layer.
Recipe adapted from New York Times
I’ve had more than a little insight on myself while living abroad this past year and a half. One of these “ah-ha” moments was realizing that if I don’t have access to something I could have back home, I get an insatiable desire to possess and/or consume it. Even if it’s something that I never really cared about that much before in the homeland. Before we get all Freudian on what that could mean about my psyche, let’s just get into how obsessed I became with Rice Krispie treats. There is no Rice Krispie cereal here in Berlin and therefore, I got a major itch to make Rice Krispie Treats. Thankfully, I had a friend get a box for me in Italy, and another sweet friend sent me a care package with supplies to make the elusive treats. Included in the package was white chocolate chips—her secret ingredient. Around this time, I had a few people tell me about Smitten Kitchen‘s recipe with browned butter and sea salt. I figured that this concoction, plus the addition of white chocolate chips would put this unassuming dessert insanely over the top—and I was extremely correct. So in conclusion, if you want some bourgeois Rice Krispie treats that will blow everyone’s mind, get on it and exercise your right to buy up all the Rice Krispies you can get your hands on and make these.
4 ounces (1/4 pound or 1 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan
1 10-ounce bag marshmallows
1 cup white chocolate chips
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (about half a 12-ounce box)
Butter an 8-inch square pan.
In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Stirring constantly until browned and smelling nutty. Watch carefully, so as not to burn.
As soon as the butter turns golden brown, turn heat to low and stir in the white chocolate until melted. Turn off the heat, add the marshmallows and stir until melted and smooth—return to low heat if necessary.
Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the salt and cereal together. Once halfway mixed, I butter my hands and get in there to make sure everything is evenly distributed. Immediately spread into prepared pan and press down until even. Let cool completely (ha—yeah right!) before eating. Wait for copious amounts of compliments and proposals of marriage and co-habitation.
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen