WARNING! Lots of hunger-inducing photos coming up. I just couldn’t narrow them down.
Yesterday I gave you a little hint on what you might see today. I mentioned campfires and dessert.
Naturally, that means S’Mores. So you are getting S’Mores.
But not just any old S’Mores.
I made you a pie.
Well, actually, I made my dad a pie. Because he came over for dinner last weekend. And because he made pie. Pudding pie, to be exact. Frozen pie crust and Jell-O Cook & Serve Chocolate Pudding. It had to be Cook & Serve. This may not be from-scratch cooking, but dad never used the instant stuff. It just wouldn’t have been the same.
The only time that pudding pie was not his go-to dessert was when we had campfires. Oh, how I love the campfires. I told you a little bit about them yesterday, but today I’ll tell you a bit more. Dad would prep the foil packets of Campfire Potatoes in the house, and usually soak some corn on the cob in water. We would carry all of out vittles outside, and get the fire started. Corn and potato packets were tossed on the fire, and then we would start roasting up some hot dogs. I am telling you, I am not a big hot dog person, but there is nothing like a hot dog cooked over a campfire. Unless it got burned. Then it was inedible. I am pretty particular about my campfire fare. You’ll understand more when I tell you about dessert. Our drink of choice was always the mini single-serving size bottles of Sunny Delight. I don’t know why, it just was. Maybe so he could feel like he was giving me something nutritious with the hot dogs and buttery potatoes and chocolate and marshmallows. And, little known fact, but you can slide the plastic label off the bottle, put it on the end of your roasting stick, and shrink wrap it to the stick. I may have done this every time we had a campfire once. If they still put the same labels on the bottle. I am not sure, since I haven’t had a Sunny Delight in years.
And, of course, dessert was always S’Mores. Usually multiple S’mores. Then some more roasted marshmallows. Umm, and why was I a chubby kid again?
But, as with most things, I was a bit of a perfectionist with my roasted (or toasted – what do you say?) marshmallows. I would find some nice red coals, then hover my marshmallow above them, rotating the stick like I was turning a chicken on a spit, until it was perfectly golden brown and crispy on the outside, and oozy gooey on the inside. I like to say that I was giving my marshmallows a suntan. If they got the least bit burnt, they were either given to dad or a brother, or just chucked into the fire. Again, inedible!
Then after I had gorged on S’Mores and marshmallows, I proceeded to put the Hershey Bar wrappers on the end of my stick and burn those up, as well. Oh, and this is so fun – maybe even more fun than the Sunny Delight shrink wrap – when you put a Hershey wrapper (the old kind of paper wrapper that went around the foil-wrapped bar, not the newfangled plastic-y wrappers), it states fully intact and legible until it shrivels into a tiny little wrapper. Then poof, the ashes disintegrate. COOLEST.THING.EVER.
And I love that my dad was totally cool with this. After some more poking and prodding of the fire, and chit chatting, and maybe even singing some of the old Girl Scout songs, all that would be left was some white embers, and we would put out the fire. I got my last bit of a pyro fix by sprinkling water on the coals and listening to it singe. Then, our hair and clothes infused with the smell of smoke and wood and all of our yummy food, we would walk back up to the house, tired and happy.
My parents got divorced when I was about 5, so these memories of the cool things I did with my dad on the weekends are so important to me. In my house with mom, our backyard was too little for campfires, so this was extra-special fun, as were the bowling, movie, waterside park, and other outings he took me on when I visited. And in the fall or winter, I’ll tell you about his other go-to special meal when it wasn’t campfire season.
So I was going to make dad’s classic pudding pie, but then I got to thinking about our campfires. And when I saw this recipe for a Creamy Milk Chocolate Pudding Pie on Hershey’s website, I knew I had to make S’Mores Pudding Pie. I mean, it is pudding pie filling made from Hershey bars, the required chocolate component for a classic S’More. And, conveniently, it called for four egg yolks. I have told you about my issue with mismatched use of egg yolks and whites before, so while I was going to just throw some good ol’ Jet Puffed marshmallows on top and toast them, having four egg whites around was just the reason to make homemade marshmallow meringue.
And I am so glad I did. It was so light and fluffy, and the pudding was rich and creamy, with that distinctive Hershey Bar taste. Oh goodness, I wish I had another one in the fridge. I actually gave the leftovers to dad. No, wait, check that. I kept the leftovers to do the glamour shots the next day, because dad wanted to make sure I got the photos I needed, and he said that the pie was good enough to drive back and pick it up the next day. And he was getting ready for a flight to North Carolina, so it’s not like he had all the free time in the world. And he totally didn’t care that, instead of giving him about half of a pie, I gave him several pieces crammed back into the foil pie pan.
Yes, that good.
Now I did use a little help with a store-bought graham cracker crust.
Mine never stay together quite as well, and come on, I was also making stuffed burgers, balsamic ketchup, campfire potatoes, collard greens, and grilled zucchini. And the pie has homemade pudding and marshmallow meringue.
Cut me some slack here, people!
Happy Father’s Day, Dad! Hope you enjoyed your leftovers!
Tell me about your special Dad and food memories!
- Ingredients for Hershey's Creamy Milk Chocolate Pudding Pie
- graham cracker crust (storebought or homemade)
- 4 egg whites (reserved from preparing the pudding pie)
- ½ c granulated sugar
- 1 t vanilla
- large pinch of cream of tartar
- Prepare the pie as per the recipe for Hershey's Creamy Milk Chocolate Pudding Pie, using a graham cracker crust. While separating the eggs for the four egg yolks for the pudding, set the whites aside for use in the marshmallow meringue.
- Place the pie in the refrigerator to chill.
- When the pie is completely chilled, combine egg whites, sugar, vanillam and cream of tartar in the bowl of your electric mixer.
- Place bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture reaches 145°F.
- Remove from heat and attach bowl to your electric mixer.
- Using the whisk attachment, beat on low speed until foamy, then turn up to high speed and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form. This will take several minutes.
- Preheat your broiler, or prepare a creme brulee torch.
- Remove the pie from the refrigerator, and spread or pipe the meringue over the pie.
- Place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, or until nicely browned, or use your torch to brown the meringue.
Marshmallow Merengue is barely adapted from The Urban Baker’s Marshmallow Meringue Frosting.
This recipe was shared with: Crazy for Crust Pi Day Pie Party 2013