Toasted Marshmallow day is Wednesday 30th August. You would be forgiven for not knowing this of course since it is one of those “National Days” made up by an organisation with a vested interest: in this case The National Confectioners Association. Whoever they are.
It used to be that toasting marshmallows was the preserve of cubs and brownies, Americans, or people who really knew how to do a festival properly. And I must admit I was in one of those categories, though it was trying to toast one of those mallow biscuits over a disposable barbecue because it was all the on site shop at Reading Festival sold.
This year though we have rearranged our garden (which makes it sound very grand, it really isn’t it just means we have acquired an outside sofa and a couple of armchairs) to make sitting around our fire pit so much easier. In previous years it has been the focus of late night “let’s put the pizza stone on the fire pit and see if we can fry eggs” antics because the only way to “sit around it” was to sit on the grass. This year though it is centre stage of many late night evenings.
It has been a central part of my getting away from my screen and doing all I can to get outdoors more often rule this summer. Which means we have been eating more toasted marshmallows. And making S’mores. I don’t know why they are called S’mores but the idea of sandwiching a toasted marshmallow between two biscuits (in our case chocolate digestives) makes me salivate.
Now, you can of course buy marshmallows, which work brilliantly for fire pit action (you can even get them delivered an hour later if you have an impromptu toasting session and find yourself without marshmallows and have Amazon Prime Now, as we did a couple of weeks ago. Though we did draw the line at writing “we are in the garden” on the delivery notes). Or you can make your own. I was amazed at how easy it is to make marshmallow and then you can toast it in the oven if you like, atop a lemon pie.
Here’s the recipe:
- 250g sugar
- 150g icing sugar
- 30g almonds
- 400g unsalted butter cut into pieces
- 340g flour
- 2 eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 3 egg whites
- 2 pinches of salt
- 1½ tsp vanilla sugar
- 5 lemons + 2 tsps of lemon juice
- 1 tsp cornflour
- Place 100g sugar into mixing bowl and grind for 15 seconds on speed 10
- Add almonds and grind for 10 seconds on speed 10
- Add 200g butter, flour, 1 egg, pinch of salt, vanilla sugar and mix for 25 seconds on speed 5
- Remove pastry from bowl, wrap in cling film and place in fridge for one hour
- Then line a grease and line a large tart tin
- Pre heat oven to 180 degrees
- Roll out pastry to about 5mm (you may have excess pastry, which you can save)
- Line tart tin, prick all over with a fork cover with greaseproof paper and baking beans and cook for 15 minutes
- Remove baking beans and paper and bake again for five minutes
- Set aside and reduce oven temperature to 160
- Place remaining sugar in bowl, with zest of one lemon and grind for 20 seconds on speed 10
- Add 1 egg and the egg yolks and juice of the lemons and then heat for 12 mins on 70 degrees, speed 3
- Add remaining butter and mix for 10 seconds on speed 4
- Pour into pastry base and bake for 10 minutes
- Clean the bowl and insert butterfly whisk Turn oven up to 200 degrees
- Add 3 egg whites, the cornflour, a pinch of salt, 2 tsps lemon juice and the icing sugar
- Whisk 6 minutes, 80 degrees, speed 3
- Spoon dollops of marshmallow onto lemon pie
- Bake for 10 minutes until toasted