Accidental Awesome: Marshmallow Pie Recipe

I’ve been experimenting with sponge cakes lately.  I love how light and fluffy they are, just from the eggs having been thoroughly whipped before use.

On Friday I made this delicious lemon poppyseed cake, with a sweet lemon glaze.  It came out beautifully, and I ate three servings in a single sitting because it tasted so great.  I’ll definitely be making this one again, and I’ve saved the recipe for future reference.

Only downside was, I was left with 8 egg whites and no plan for how to use them.  Not really a problem, though — I knew I was going to have people coming over on Sunday for our weekly D&D game, and figured that I could whip up a quick batch of meringues.  Tasty, crowd-friendly, and it would be a great way to use up those leftovers.

I’ve mentioned before on this blog that meringue is kind of my cooking nemesis.  No matter how careful I am to get *no* yolk or oil in there, no matter how long I whip the eggs, about 50% of the time it just simply doesn’t work.  The eggs get frothy and fluffy, but don’t turn into a nice, stiff meringue.  But with all the sponge cakes lately, I was starting to get more confident in my dubious meringueing (yes, it’s a word, I’ve just coined it) skills.  The last few times I’ve whipped egg whites for a sponge cake, they’ve fluffed up nicely, and I let myself be lulled into thinking that perhaps I’d finally found the knack.

Nope.  10 minutes of whipping, and *nothing* was happening.  My friends were due to arrive soon, and I was now without a delicious dessert to finish off the meal.

So, I scrounged around the kitchen.  My gluten-free friend was on the guest list for the night, so I couldn’t just throw in some cake flour and turn it into a sponge cake.  But I *did* have some rice flour and tapioca flour in the cabinet.  A little more sugar, a generous splash of amaretto, some cinnamon, and a thorough mixing.  In the end, this is what the recipe ended up looking like:

  • 8 egg whites
  • 1-1/4 cup + 2 tbsp white sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup amaretto
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.  Whip the egg whites with 2 tbsp sugar until very frothy.  Stop when you just begin to see soft peaks forming.  Add the 1-1/4 cup sugar, the vanilla extract, the amaretto, and the pinch of salt, and blend thoroughly.  Fold in the rice flour, tapioca flour and cinnamon.  Pour the batter into a well-greased 8-inch springform pan or bundt pan.  Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the oven off.  Leave it in the oven while the oven cools down — by slowing the cooling process, you lessen the chances that your pie will shrink and crack while cooling.

For visual interest, dust the pie with cinnamon before serving.

This pie has the texture of a giant marshmallow, and tastes kind of like if Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal had a baby with a unicorn.  It is quite possibly my favourite cooking experiment EVER, and it all came from screwing up meringue.

My friends have suggested alternative ways of making this (although Kenneth stresses that the original is absolutely delicious all on its own and needs no tampering).  The addition of chocolate or caramel topping, the addition of a graham-cracker crust, and the substitution of other alcohols (especially Bailey’s Irish Cream) instead of the amaretto — all of these ideas have been tabled, and will likely be tried in their turn.  If you have other suggestions, please feel free to share them — and let me know if you try this recipe yourself, and what you think of it!

I will make this again next week and remember to take pictures this time (didn’t think of it until after we’d devoured the whole thing, unfortunately).  Next time I think I’ll try a chocolate fudge drizzle on the top, because I can’t resist adding chocolate to this.

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