Gingerbread pie with marshmallow meringue!
Gingerbread just says "holidays." This custard pie has molasses and brown sugar and some of the classic spices for a spot-on gingerbread taste. The recipe itself comes from Sprinkle Bakes, but I make my "experimental" pies in miniature pie plates that are 5" across, so I have to adapt everything (starting with the crusts).
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp molasses (not blackstrap)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp flour
tiny pinch salt (or use salted butter)
1/4 tsp ginger (heaping)
1/8 tsp cinnamon (heaping)
1 egg yolk
1/8 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp buttermilk
A pie shell
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Mix the butter, molasses and brown sugar using a hand mixer. Mix in the flour, salt, and spices. Add the egg yolk and mix until thoroughly combined. Mix in the vanilla and buttermilk, then pour into the pie shell [the original recipe uses a regular, unbaked pie shell; I used a blind baked graham cracker crust].
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until set (not jiggly in the middle when moved).
I'd rate the pie itself "not bad." The texture is chewy, especially around the edges, but pretty good, though it's a little weird paired with the gingerbread flavor, which was pretty good.
The marshmallow meringue topping, however, was FANTASTIC. Here's the 5" pie version:
1 egg white
1/8 tsp vanilla
tiny dash salt
2 tsp sugar
1 1/3 oz marshmallow creme (about 1/4 cup)
Beat the egg white with vanilla and salt until foamy. Add the sugar a bit at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form, like in the first picture here:
Note that once you've added the marshmallow, the stiff peaks disappear and we get into a kind of ribbon stage again. That's perfect.
You could also use straight marshmallow creme, but it's stiffer and harder to work with. See:
After spreading the meringue you can make it fancy. I usually spoon it on, making sure to seal the edges to minimize shrinking. Then I use a knife or spatula to make the peaks, tapping it on the surface and pulling it off. Brown it in a 400 degree oven.
My mixer beaters are so high in my bowl that they can't beat fewer than three egg whites (sad, I know). So I had to make the full-sized pie recipe of the meringue (double sad). With all the extra meringue, I piped these babies:
Normally, meringue drops do NOT expand as they bake, but the marshmallow kind of changes that, so they expanded a little, and took a bit longer to bake. I gave mine about 30 minutes in a 300 degree oven. Once they look dry, you turn off the oven and leave them in there with the door shut (or slightly cracked, depending on what recipe you use).
I know what you're asking: where are the glamorous shots of the final product? Well, when you're fixing dinner and your meringue drops are resting in one oven, and you need to cook your dinner in the other oven, make sure you turn on the right oven, or you'll ruin both.
Fortunately, I still had the little bit on my pie. My then-one-year-old was fascinated by it and climbed up to the table to take a look. When she saw me coming to get her, she swiped a handful and stuffed it in her mouth.
What pies will you be making for Christmas? How do you like to use (or eat!) gingerbread?