Saturday, July 05, 2008
We weren't going to do anything on the 4th of July this year. It was too close to coming back from our trip to Connecticut, and we didn't want to go through the hassle of trying to keep the kids up to watch fireworks. Until- husband called me on Thursday- July 3rd- and said, "Hey, the B's aren't doing anything tomorrow either. Do you want to have them over?" I said, "Sure. I know just what I'll make for dessert!". I've been holding on to this recipe for a couple of years. It appeared in the November 2006 issue of Gourmet. I thought it was a really strange thing to make for Thanksgiving, although the reviews indicate that many people had it for their Thanksgiving dessert. So how was it? It was good. Sweet, very sweet. Be careful with browning the top. It can go from yummy brown goodness to black disaster in a heartbeat. I used semisweet chocolate instead of the bittersweet it calls for.
Active time: 45 min
Start to finish: 7 hr (includes making crust and chilling pie)
Servings: Makes 8 servings.
1 graham cracker crumb crust, baked and cooled completely (recipe below)
For chocolate cream filling
7 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not more than 70% cacao; not unsweetened), finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 large egg, at room temperature for 30 minutes
For marshmallow topping
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-oz package)
1/2 cup cold water
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Vegetable oil for greasing
Special equipment: a candy thermometer.
Make graham cracker crumb crust and reserve.
Make chocolate cream filling:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Put chocolate in a large bowl. Bring cream just to a boil in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan, then pour hot cream over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then gently whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Gently whisk in egg and a pinch of salt until combined and pour into graham cracker crumb crust (crust will be about half full).
Cover edge of pie with a pie shield or foil and bake until filling is softly set and trembles slightly in center when gently shaken, about 25 minutes. Cool pie to room temperature on a rack (filling will firm as it cools), about 1 hour.
Make marshmallow topping:
Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup cold water in a large deep heatproof bowl and let stand until softened, about 1 minute.
Stir together sugar, corn syrup, a pinch of salt, and remaining 1/4 cup water in cleaned 1- to 1 1/4-quart heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then boil until thermometer registers 260°F, about 6 minutes.
Begin beating water and gelatin mixture with an electric mixer at medium speed, then carefully pour in hot syrup in a slow stream, beating (avoid beaters and side of bowl). When all of syrup is added, increase speed to high and continue beating until mixture is tripled in volume and very thick, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and beat until combined, then immediately spoon topping onto center of pie filling; it will slowly spread to cover top of pie. Chill, uncovered, 1 hour, then cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap (oiled side down) and chill 3 hours more.
Transfer pie to a baking sheet. Cover edge of pie with pie shield or foil and broil 3 to 4 inches from heat, rotating pie as necessary, until marshmallow topping is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Cool pie on a rack 10 minutes. Slice pie with a large heavy knife dipped in hot water and then dried with a towel before cutting each slice.
• To take the temperature of a shallow amount of syrup, put bulb in saucepan and turn thermometer facedown, resting other end against rim of saucepan. Check temperature frequently.
• Pie (before browning topping) can be chilled up to 1 day.
Graham Cracker Crust
Active time: 10 min
Start to finish: 1 1/4 hr
Servings: Makes enough for a 9- to 9 1/2-inch pie.
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus additional for greasing
1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs (10 graham crackers or 24 small gingersnaps; about 6 oz)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Special equipment: a 9- to 9 1/2-inch pie plate (4-cup capacity)
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter pie plate.
Stir together all ingredients in a bowl and press evenly on bottom and up side of pie plate. Bake until crisp, 12 to 15 minutes, then cool on a rack to room temperature, about 45 minutes.
• To make cookie crumbs, break up crackers or cookies into small pieces, then pulse in a food processor until finely ground.