The Fourth of July is just a few days away. It is the ultimate camping holiday for those of us in the U.S. of A. who are into that sort of thing. Folks it’s time to air out your tents, re-stuff your sleeping bags, top off your camp stove fuel, and check the batteries in your flashlights. What’s that? You aren’t going camping for the holiday? Oh. That’s okay I’m not either. But if I was, I would be making sure to pack a box of graham crackers, a big bar of chocolate, and a bag of pillowy marshmallows.
Since I won’t be spending the day in the deep woods slapping skeeters I also won’t be spending the evening staring into the glowing embers of a well tended campfire. That doesn’t mean I have to give up the quintessential American camping dessert. Oh no. There are many ways to enjoy the graham cracker, chocolate, and marshmallow trifecta in the comfort of my own home. You don’t even have to take my word for it, have you looked at Pinterest lately? Actually wait. Do just take my word for it because I have a real treat in store for you my friends.
A couple of weeks ago I got a bee in my bonnet and decided to see what I could do with a box of chocolate fudge pudding, a graham cracker crust, and a bit of finesse. The answer was pretty much the most fabulous S’more Pie ever. It has little pieces of graham cracker and mini chocolate chips mixed in to a chocolaty creamy filling with a fluffy toasted “marshmallow” meringue on top and more pieces of graham and more chocolate chips all around the edges.
Oh yeah and you put it in the freezer. I know, I know. Toasty gooey marshmallowy goodness should be hot not frozen. Whatever, just make the pie, you can thank me later.
This is a great make ahead dessert. Whip it up the day before and then pop the finished product into the freezer toasty top and all. Pull it out to soften a little 20 to 30 minutes before you want to serve it, run your knife under running water to warm it, and you should be able to slice beautiful picture perfect wedges.
I cruised around the internet looking for other pies similar to this one and found recipes with crazy high fat ingredients. I have no doubt that they are all heart-stoppingly decedent but as you know I prefer my desserts with a side of longevity. One version that caught my eye included a certain decedent chocolate hazelnut spread and heavy cream. It was pretty but one slice of that bad boy would set a person back over 600 calories and 42 grams of fat. That is a pretty hefty load for a day that I would also like to enjoy a grilled turkey bratwurst and perhaps some baked beans with little bits of chewy bacon.
So if you like me will be shoving your pets into the bathroom at about 9:30 and then plopping on the porch to watch your neighborhood fill up with gunpowder smoke. I suggest you do so with a slice of fluffy topped, crunchy flecked, frozen chocolate graham goodness. Unless of course you happen to be in the woods. With a glowing fire and a marshmallow on a stick.
This pie could be made with any flavor of instant pudding you like best. I suggest chocolate or fudge for the full s’more experience. Using a commercially available graham cracker crust saves time but a homemade crust would be a great alternative.
The topping is essentially a meringue frosting. You have seen it here before and you will see it here again. If you would rather skip the homemade “marshmallow” feel free to try some mini marshmallows. Give the finished pie at least a few hours in the freezer to set up before serving. It can be stored in the freezer for several days.
- 1 reduced fat graham cracker crust - store bought
- 1 box of sugar free, fat free instant pudding (chocolate or fudge recommended)
- 1 3/4 cup skim milk
- 1 generous cup of lite whipped topping (such as Cool Whip)
- 2 Tablespoons mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (or favorite chocolate bar chopped into tiny pieces)
- 1 full sheet of graham cracker broken into 1/4 pieces
- 2 egg whites - separated when cold and allowed to warm to room temperature
- 1/2 tsp cream of tarter
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Prepare the pudding as instructed on the box using only 1 3/4 cup milk instead of the full amount called for on the box.
- Once the basic pudding has been made gently fold in the whipped topping with a spatula.
- When the liquid is all one color, fold in the graham cracker pieces and the mini chocolate chips.
- Pour the pudding mixture into the pie crust. Cover and refrigerate while making the topping.
- In a small sauce pan over medium high heat slowly melt together the sugar and water to create a syrup. Stir the syrup frequently to heat evenly and prevent burning.
- Once the sugar has melted add the vanilla and allow to just come to a boil. Reduce heat to low and continue to stir.
- At the same time (if possible) in a clean bowl with high sides, begin beating the egg whites, pinch of salt, and cream of tarter. Use an electric mixer on low speed and increase the speed as the egg whites become more frothy and increase in volume.
- Once the egg whites have reached firm peak stage, slowly pour in the hot sugar syrup. (I pour a thin continuous stream from the pan into the bowl so that it fully incorporates into the egg whites as it hits the beaters.)
- Continue whipping the egg whites after the syrup is incorporated so they become stiff and shiny.
- Gently spoon approximately 2/3 of the finished meringue over the chilled pie. Plop your topping in the middle and work it toward the edges leaving a scant 1/2 inch margin for more graham pieces and chocolate chips. Have fun creating little swirls or peaks with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
- (Optional) To make the final graham and chocolate garnish mix 1 tablespoon of chips with 1 crumbled 1/2 sheet of graham cracker. Use a spoon to get it just along the edge of the pie pan.
- Return the meringue topped pie to the refrigerator.
- Move an oven rack to the highest position and set the oven to broil. You want to be able to fit the pie under the broiler but not touch it.
- When the broiler is hot, set the pie on a sheet pan to make it easier to move around. Slide the pie under the broiler. (Watch very closely. It only needs 30 to 40 seconds to get toasty. The oven door does not need to be fully shut while the topping toasts.)
- Once the top begins to turn golden remove immediately. If needed return to oven for a few more seconds until desired toasty color is achieved.
- Place the finished pie uncovered into the freezer for 4 hours to overnight. Cut the frozen pie with a warm knife and allow to soften 20 - 30 minutes prior to serving.
- This recipe makes more topping than needed to cover the pie. Use 2/3 of the topping for the pie and get creative with the remaining 1/3. We heaped it on graham crackers for a sticky sweet treat. Makes 12 voluminous servings or many smaller ones.