Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Easy Summer Desserts: Chocolate S'mores Pie and Seasonal Fruit Crostata

Chocolate S'mores Pie

3 packages organic cinnamon graham crackers
2-3 tbs. butter or Earth Balance, melted
Pinch of salt 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in food processor, adding melted butter slowly, until mixture is slightly moist and starts to come together. Press into a 9-10inch pie pan. Bake for about 7 minutes.

12 oz. of 60% dark, semisweet, or milk chocolate chips (or 6 oz. of dark and 6 oz. of milk chocolate)
1/2 cup half and half, heavy cream, or soy creamer
10-12 marshmallows (enough to cover the top of the pie)

Heat the half and half/cream/soy creamer in the microwave until it comes to a simmer. Pour over the chocolate chips, stirring constantly until it is melted and creamy. Pour chocolate mixture over the crust and cook in refrigerator for about an hour until the chocolate becomes solid. Top with marshmallows. Put the pie in the oven on high broil for 30-60 seconds just until the marshmallows get toasted and golden.

Blueberry Plum and Nectarine Crostata
I'm no pastry chef, but this rustic-looking tart is simple and doesn't have to look perfect to taste great. You can use different fruit toppings depending on the season - this one is great for mid-summer.

The pastry dough recipe makes 2 tarts, so you can freeze half if you only want to make one at a time.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks of cold butter, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup ice cold water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Place flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse 3-4 times to combine. Add the butter and press it into the flour mixture with your fingers. Pulse 10-15 times until butter is in pea-sized crumbled. With the processor running, slowly add the cold water. Stop the motor and pulse dough until it just starts to come together and form a ball. Turn the dough out onto a floured cutting board and bring together with your hands. Cut the dough in half to form two equal disks. Place the dough you are using in the refrigerator for at last an hour to let the it come together before assembling the crostata. 


1.5 cups blueberries
2 nectarines, sliced
1-2 plums, sliced
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 lemon, juiced
2-3 tbs. sugar
2 tbs. flour

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside

Crumb topping:

1/4 cup flour (or half oats and half flour)
1/4 cup sugar
3-4 tbs. butter, melted
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8th tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
1/8th tsp. salt or to taste

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Slowly add melted butter and stir with a spoon or fork until mixture becomes crumbly. This can be done up to a couple days ahead.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Take the dough you're using out of the fridge and let it come to just about room temperature. Roll out on a floured board into a 10-12 inch circle. Place on a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Place fruit mixture on top of the dough and sprinkle on crumb topping evenly. Bake 20-25 minutes.

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