Sometimes it takes several tries to make sure a recipe comes out just right. Our pastry chef, Alisa Huntsman, went through several versions of this delectable pie before she finally landed on the perfect formula that yielded a soft, gooey center but was still firm enough to hold up to slicing. And we have to say, her efforts paid off. This pie is sweet, colorful and just what you want in a Christmas dessert!
Servings: Makes a 9 inch pie, serves 8
Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl with the 2 tablespoons of sugar and mix on low speed-do not allow it to become frothy, simply mix it enough to dissolve the sugar. In a small bowl, bloom the package of gelatin with 2 tablespoons of water and set aside.
Place the corn syrup and remaining water in a small, heavy bottom pot with the remaining 2/3 cup of sugar. Set the pan over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. using a wet pastry brush, wash the sides of the pot so that no sugar crystals remain and once the sugar is dissolved, do not stir it. Place a candy thermometer in the pot and cook until the sugar reaches 240 degrees. While the sugar cooks, you can use this time to make the chocolate ganache glaze.
With a stand mixer on medium speed, whip the egg whites until they are frothy with soft peaks just beginning to form. While the mixer is whipping, carefully pour the sugar into them. Take great care to avoid hitting the beaters or the hot sugar will splatter and can burn. Once all the sugar is added, allow the egg whites to whip fully until big and fluffy and resembles marshmallow cream, about 5-8 minutes.
Melt the softened gelatin in a microwave until warm, for about 30 seconds. With the mixer on low, stream in the melted gelatin until combined and increase speed to high to whip to a full, fluffy consistency. Add peppermint extract and a few drops of red food color, a drop a time, until you have reached a light pink color.
To assemble the pie, transfer the marshmallow filling into the prepared pie shell. Using an icing spreader, decorate the top of the pie with the chocolate ganache glaze. Top it off with crushed peppermint candies and chill for at least one hour.
Chocolate Ganache Glaze
Place the chocolate and half and half into a heat proof metal or glass bowl and set over water that is barely simmering. As it heats, whisk gently to melt the chocolate and make a smooth, glossy glaze.