I came across a big secret the other day. It’s called The Secret Recipe Club and here is how it works. It’s a club created by Amanda from Amanda’s Cooking which you can join. Every month you are assigned a participating food blog which you then secretly visit and choose one of their recipes to make/bake and blog about. Someone is then in turn assigned to your blog and makes one of your recipes and so on. On reveal day everyone post their recipes at the same time and the secret is out of the bag, I thought this sounds like a lot of fun.
My Secret blog turned out to be a very lovely food blog named Alli-n-son and it’s run by Allison who is the busy momma of two very cute little boys. Allison’s blog is filled with lots of delicious food and desserts. After much going back and forth trying to decide on what to make, I finally decided on Alli’s tempting Dark Chocolate S’mores Pie.
This S’mores Pie quickly became a bit of a hot topic around our house because I wanted to make it with a meringue topping instead of the traditional marshmallows, and so you see, technically it is no longer a S’mores Pie. This is true! Meringue is made with sugar and egg whites while marshmallows are made with sugar, corn syrup and gelatin. Not the same thing I admit, but both white, soft and fluffy so therefore in my mind an acceptable substitute. I had to take the topic to my work for other opinions and imagine they all sided with my husband But as we all know, “you can always tell a Dane, but you can’t tell em much”. Yes that’s right, the stubborn Dane came out in me and so it is a S’mores Pie with Meringue topping.
The pie came out much better than expected. The only thing I would do differently the next time is that I would use regular graham crackers with maybe just a little cinnamon added. The cinnamon graham crackers turned out to be very sweet in themselves and for me it was too much sugar. Also, with the Meringue topping, the pie is best the same day it’s made. Other than that, wonderful pie and a lot of fun to make.
For the crust:
1 1/3 cup cinnamon graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons butter, melted
For the filling:
4 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
a pinch of sea salt
3 cups skim milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the topping:
4 large egg whites
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (130 grams) white granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
To make the crust:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place graham crackers in a food processor or blender and process until you have a fine crumb. Place cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a small bowl and stir to combine. Place crumb mixture in a 9 inch baking dish and gently press crumbs out and up the sides of the pie dish. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden. Set aside to cool. Shut oven off but keep oven door closed to preserve the heat for later use.
To make the filling:
In a medium bowl using an electrical mixer, beat egg yolks to combine and set aside. I a medium sauce pan combine sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, salt and milk. Whisk vigorously to combine at first, then set heat to medium and bring mixture to a simmer stirring frequently. Allow to simmer for 1 minute, remove from heat.
While beating the egg yolks, slowly add 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate mixture to the egg yolks. Then pour the beaten egg mixture back into the sauce pan with the remaining chocolate mixture, return to the stove and over medium heat bring mixture back up to a simmer. Allow to continue to simmer for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla, stir to combine. Pour pudding mixture into baked pie crust and set aside, the pudding filling will continue to set.
To make the topping:
Separate the egg whites from the yolks and place the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl of your electrical mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Meringue should still have a glossy appearance.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread meringue over the pie filling or fill meringue into a piping bag fitted with a decorating tip and pipe meringue onto the pie filling, starting in the center working your way out to the edge of pie. Return the pie to the oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until peaks are golden brown.
Place on wire rack and allow to cool. Serve and enjoy same day!