I can't so much as type the word s'more without my mind wandering off to a happy place. That's because s'mores aren't just about the sweet satisfaction of devouring chocolate, graham crackers, and molten, charred marshmallows—they're about the ritual that gets you there and the fun you were having at the time. They're about the search through the woods for the perfect toasting stick, about the heat from the campfire that grows unbearable as you slowly rotate the marshmallow for even cooking, and about the thrill of "accidentally" lighting your marshmallow on fire before it's done. They're about the good things—summertime, adventure, and friends.
While it's impossible to re-create the smoky nostalgia of a true s'mores experience, I submit a riff on s'mores, in pie form, that will take you most of the way there. The crust is made with a mixture of graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and a tiny hit of salt. It has just enough melted butter to bind it together. To mimic the taste and smooth texture of melted Hershey's, the pudding is sweet and satisfyingly chocolaty, with nothing too dark or highbrow at play. The topping, of course, can only be marshmallow. This one is made from scratch with a nice hint of vanilla, then piped on top.
To stop there would do an injustice to the spirit of the s'more. The pie just wouldn't be complete without the final step: taking a torch to the top. And when you're enjoying warm, gooey marshmallow over your pie, you'll be happy that you did. It's the best thing since marshmallow sticks.
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About the author: Lauren Weisenthal has logged many hours working in restaurant kitchens and bakeries of Brooklyn and Manhattan. She is a graduate of the Artisan Bread Baking and Pastry Arts programs at the French Culinary Institute. You can follow her on Twitter at @evillagekitchen.