- Course: Dessert
- Skill Level: Challenging
- Cost: Inexpensive
- Favorited: 7 Times
For the Custard:
- 2⁄3 cup liquid egg substitute
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1⁄3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder, Dutch-processed or natural
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups 2% milk
- ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
For the Crust:
- 1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust (see Notes), formed in six 4½ -inch tart shells with removable bottoms and baked
For the Marshmallow Topping:
- 2¼ teaspoons unflavored gelatin powder
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1⁄3 cup egg whites (from about 3 large eggs)
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
To make the custard: In a small bowl, whisk the egg substitute and cornstarch together; set aside. Put the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt into a medium saucepan. Whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Pour about half of the hot milk mixture into the eggs in a steady stream, whisking constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook for several minutes, stirring constantly, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium bowl. Whisk in the melted chocolate. Cover the custard with plastic film, poking several holes in the film to allow steam to escape. Refrigerate for several hours, until it is cold. Fill the baked tart shells with a scant 1⁄3 cup of custard each, spreading it evenly into the shells. Gently press up on the bottoms of the tart shells to remove the outer pan rings. Set aside.
To make the marshmallow topping: Put the gelatin into a small bowl, add 1 ½ tablespoons water, and stir gently. Set aside for 5 minutes to soften. In a small nonreactive saucepan (not nonstick), stir the sugar with ¼ cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, using a pastry brush dipped into cold water to brush any sugar crystals from the sides of the pan. Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the gelatin until it dissolves completely, at least 1 minute. While the sugar is boiling, using a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until they turn thick and foamy. With the mixer running, pour the hot sugar syrup into the egg whites in a slow, steady stream, aiming it between the edge of the bowl and the beater. Continue beating for 5 minutes longer, or until the bottom of the bowl feels slightly warm to the touch. Add the vanilla and beat for 1 minute longer. Without delay, transfer the topping to a piping bag fitted with a standard round tip. (Alternatively, use a resealable plastic bag: fill, press out the air, seal, and snip off one corner.) Pipe the topping onto the tarts in a spiral, starting at an outer edge and working your way toward the center. (If using store-bought topping, which does not pipe well, spoon it onto the tarts and toast it just before serving.) To finish: Wave a kitchen torch over each tart to toast the topping. (Alternatively, broil the tarts on a baking sheet in the upper third of the oven for 30 to 45 seconds, watching carefully and removing them as soon as the topping browns.) To serve: Cut each tart in half, and serve immediately. Refrigerate leftover tarts made with the homemade topping, covered with plastic film, for up to 2 days after toasting.
Graham Cracker Pie Crust:
Nonstick pan spray 6 ounces honey graham crackers (about 10 cookie sheets) 3 tablespoons (packed) dark brown sugar 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon salt ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter 2 teaspoons non-hydrogenated shortening, such as Spectrum brand
This crust works well for custard-based pies. It’s easy to make and tastes wonderfully rich. Graham crackers are naturally low in fat, so I prefer to use the full-fat ones rather than the reduced-fat graham crackers, which have an artificial taste.
Generously coat a pie or tart pan with pan spray. Crumble the graham crackers into a food processor and process until they are reduced to very fine crumbs. Add the brown sugar, flour, and salt and process for 30 seconds. In a small saucepan, or in the microwave, melt the butter and shortening. Pour it over the graham cracker mixture, start the food processor running, and drizzle in 3 tablespoons water through the feed tube, mixing until the mixture clumps up around the blade. The dough should easily hold together when you pinch off a clump. If it does not, add 2 to 3 teaspoons more water, pulse to combine, and try pinching it again. Roll the dough between sheets of plastic film to form a round that is 1⁄8 inch thick and approximately 13 inches in diameter. Remove the top film and invert the dough, centering it over the prepared pan. Gently press the dough into the pan, using the top film as an aid. Peel off the film and continue to press the crust to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim away any excess dough from the edges. If the crust cracks or tears, use scraps of dough to repair it, pressing to seal the cracks. Freeze the crust for 20 minutes, or until it is firm to the touch but not frozen through. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the center position. Prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the bottom is cooked through and no longer appears shiny. Let the crust cool in the pan for at least 2 hours.
To Form Individual Tarts: Use a round cutter or a sharp knife to cut the dough into six 4½ -inch rounds. (You will need to gather and reroll the scraps to make the final 2 rounds.) Peel the rounds from the film and press them evenly into the pans. The baking time will be about the same.
© 2011 Marisa Churchill
Per Serving (½ tart): 245 calories, 8g fat