Friday, April 25, 2014

Apple Pie S'Mores (Honey Marshmallow Recipe)

I think I started something tonight. I think I may be on to something. Tonight, I decided to take the classic camp fire treat - the s'more - and change it up a little bit. We have so many fires, and while not every time, but very often we end up getting our bag of graham crackers, hershey bars, and marshmallows and sinking our teeth into the gooey, trifecta of flavor that is the s'more. However, after so many nights, they get kind of old. Still delicious, but just boring.

The other day my husband invited a friend of his and his family over for a venison hot dog roast and I knew that with a fire, we just had to have s'mores. However, I also wanted to MAKE something. I thought of making apple pie, my favorite dessert, but then we wouldn't be able to roast marshmallows over the fire...and marshmallow's are one of my son's favorite things about a fire! So then I figured - why don't I make a gourmet s'more and combine the two things!!! Ah, what an exciting idea!

Apple pie needs apples and a crust. While s'mores are traditionally made with graham crackers and chocolate, the most important part is the marshmallow. (I've made s'mores with peanut butter cookies in the past and that is also an incredibly good idea). Well I've been wanting to make my own marshmallows for months, and this was the perfect chance, I thought!

I made my marshmallows in the morning because they had to sit all day to set up. I used this recipe from The Nourishing Gourmet. I got my gelatin from Amazon and made sure it was up to my standard of animal-derived things :) - Great Lakes Gelatin. I added the caviar from a real vanilla bean instead of extract, but otherwise followed the directions exactly. Oh and the only sweetener is honey - you know I looove that!

I also made thin, crispy oatmeal cookies found at Mel's Kitchen Cafe. I was originally going to make homemade graham crackers, but then thought this was a much better idea. Not only easier, but it would give them that "apple crisp" taste and texture. Yum. I used all whole wheat flour and I think next time will add some nuts too. 

I also bought some locally made caramels to go in them...most of us kind of forgot about them while making the s/mores, but they can really only make something like this better, right?

Anyhow, on to the recipe! These were superb, by the way. Maybe next time I'll make caramel marshmallows!

Honey Vanilla Bean Marshmallows

Butter a 8 x 8 pan and coat with powdered sugar or cornstarch or arrowroot powder or your "starch" of choice). 

1 1/2 Tbsp. gelatin
1/4 cup water

Place water in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle gelatin over the top. Let bloom while doing the rest. 

1/4 cup water
1/2 cup honey
caviar from one vanilla bean (or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)
1/8 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. If you have a candy thermometer, it should get up to 240 degrees. If you are like me and don't have one, I waited for it to start boiling and then waited about another 30 seconds. Not technical, I know, but it worked. 

Turn the mixer on low and slowly pour the honey mixture into the gelatin mixture. Then turn it on high and beat the heck out of it! I think I beat it for 10 minutes. It'll look like marshmallow fluff. Pour into prepared pan and let sit 4 - 12 hours. The longer the better. Turn out onto a cutting board and cut into desired pieces. Coat pieces with starch to prevent sticking (I used cornstarch). Eat as is or toast to perfection! 

Be sure to have a taste tester. Crucial.

You can really taste the honey in these and it is a great way to use really good honey and really taste the flavor!

Apple Pie S'Mores

To assemble to s'mores: use whatever "crust" you want - the oatmeal cookies that I have the link to above, graham crackers, snickerdoodles....whatever you think would be best. 

A little ahead of time, take a couple apples and core them, and wrap them in foil with a little butter. Put into a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes, or bake in the fire you are having. Let cool slightly then slice into pieces. 

My components

Toast your marshmallow, place a slice of apple on one cookie, and sandwich your beautifully toasted mallow in the middle. Add a caramel piece, if desired. Enjoy the messy goodness!

Let the kids play, and grab a marshmallow and cookie here and there. They are too busy to bother with putting things together. 

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