Basically, I just needed to make some festive pies. There comes a time in every young person's life when that person basically just needs to make some festive pies. Do you understand?
Summer is not my favorite month, and I would even go as far as saying it is my least favorite. If you don't remember the tremendous number of "aoeisjt omgggg I love autumnnnnn" posts from last year, then I can just tell you now, I'm really into fall and winter. Even spring is beautiful. Spring is the time when I decide I'm going to like summer this year. When this spring came, I made the same decision as always, but this time, I'm trying really hard. I put all of my fall and winter nail polish colors in hiding for the season and have been making an effort to spend a lot of time outside (Leo is a big help with this one). I even started actually burning scented candles that aren't called "mulled cider" or "autumn leaves" or "a cozy winter night in" like I usually do. I think the one on my bedroom desk right now is pink (pink! not even brown!) and has the word "tropical" in the name, so you know I'm serious about this liking summer thing.
So there I was, on July the fourth, anniversary of when Paul something or other warned some guys about something or other and alas (alas!) (I don't know if I used that right) here I am, in a somewhat free country where people like to eat fast food and talk about how their "hearts go out to" whoever is going through something publicly tragic.
And I thought, I have some marshmallows and fresh berries in patriotic colors and graham crackers that I bought directly as a result of the summer-loving inspirational display at the grocery store about how if I eat s'mores made with Honey Maid brand graham crackers this summer, I'll have friends and be happy, etc. etc.
So I made a couple of graham cracker crusts (they were really good, you should use this recipe) and I made some pastry cream (which is actually a fancy name for custard) (Lauren and I learned this the hard way some years ago when we asked multiple grocery store employees if they could point us in the direction of the pastry cream and no one knew what we were talking about), and I mixed a couple of handfuls of chocolate chips into half of the custard while it was still hot and poured the vanilla custard into one crust and the chocolate into the other crust (as depicted in image 4.5a) (that was me pretending this is a physics textbook). I basically just threw a whole mess of berries on the vanilla one and sifted it with powdered sugar and spread some 15 second microwaved marshmallows on the chocolate one, and put it in the broiler for just a few minutes (burning very easy so keep a close eye) and BAM (BAM!) a patriotic and seasonal fruit pie and a s'mores pie. Look at me go, everybody. Look at me go!
For one graham cracker crust:
12 graham cracker sheets that you put in a plastic bag and take out all your aggression on (or food processor, I GUESS)
5 tablespoons of butter, melted
1/4 cup of sugar
1/8 teaspoon of salt (I think I used slightly more because I really like salty with sweet) (also, I used coarse kosher salt, but you can use any kind) (I mean not like the kinds that aren't meant for human consumption) (like for real man, just get some edible salt, PLEASE)
So you just put them all in a bowl and mix mix mix and then press into a greased 9 inch pie pan and bake for 12-14 minutes at 350 degrees. It should smell really good. If it doesn't smell really good, you did something wrong.
For the pastry cream:
2 cups of milk
1/2 cup of sugar
4 egg yoks
1/4 cup of cornstarch
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
a pinch of salt
In a saucepan, mix together the milk, salt, and half of the sugar, cooking over medium heat until it begins to simmer. In another bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, and the rest of the sugar. Pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg yoke mixture gradually. Then pour it all back into the saucepan, still over medium heat, whisking continuously. This process I believe is called tempering and the point is that you don't want the egg yolks to cook like scrambled eggs because yuck. Keep whisking for about two minutes, until the mixture is noticeably thicker. Transfer it to the bowl of an electric mixer, add the butter, and mix until the mixture cools, about 5 minutes.
If you want to make the chocolate one, just throw in several handfuls of chocolate chips. I was not precise, but it would taste really good with literally any amount of chocolate added. Yes, even 75 pounds of chocolate. I know you were about to ask that. Mix it up and the chocolate will melt and it will be great and all your guests will love it and you'll have friends and a great summer just like the Honey Maid ad said you would!
You can put whatever you want on these after the custard part. For the berry one in the picture, just cut up a bunch of your favorite seasonal fruit and arrange them in a pretty way at first that later turns into you just sort of tossing them on every which way because what does it even matter, and for the s'mores one, put all of the marshmallows left in the bag of marshmallows in your cabinet in a bowl and then in the microwave for about 15 seconds and they'll get really comically large and then you can scoop them out and spread them over the top. Stick in the broiler for just a few minutes, checking frequently, until it's golden brown and lovely like toasted marshmallows.
What I'm reading right now: Seriously... I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres