Help me make a Smore Pie!
August 20, 2009 11:43 AM   Subscribe

Is is possible to make marshmallow cream out of prepackaged marshmallows with out the use of a double broiler?

I have about half a bag (3 cups) of mini marshmallows I want to use to make a s'more pie.

I have opted out of just buying a container of Fluff I never eat the stuff and the leftovers would just go to waste. I have found several recipes for s'more pies but they all use a mixture of chocolate and marshmallows. Now I could do it that way but I am using chocolate pudding and I want to layer the chocolate and the cream.

All the recipes I could find for making marshmallow cream call for the use of a double boiler ( I have never used one before and I don't have one any way). Is there another way?

When I do get the recipe together I will post it in metatalk if anyone wants it. Cheers and thanks in advance
posted by SheMulp AKA Plus 1 to Food & Drink (20 answers total)
 
I don't know if you can make the cream without a double boiler, but you don't really need to go buy anything fancy to make a DIY double boiler. You just need a pan with water in it and a metal bowl to put on top of it. Boil water, put bowl on top, put ingredients in bowl, follow recipe instructions. I make a lot of recipes that call for melted chocolate, and I use this method instead of a "real" double boiler.
posted by bedhead at 11:47 AM on August 20, 2009


A double boiler is just a metal bowl sitting in a saucepan, with boiling water below it (such that the bowl is sitting above the water, not below) -- if you have a larger metal bowl and a smaller saucepan, voila, you have a double boiler!
posted by brainmouse at 11:49 AM on August 20, 2009


Microwave on medium-low heat (if it goes to 10, try a 4). Stir every minute or so.
posted by palliser at 11:49 AM on August 20, 2009


Nthing the above suggestions to just use a metal bowl over a saucepan. That said, if you are exceptionally, exceptionally careful and keep the heat very low, you can get away with using a regular saucepan rather than a double boiler for double-boiler recipes not involving eggs.
posted by Meg_Murry at 11:52 AM on August 20, 2009


All a double boiler does is regulate the temperature to 100 degrees C (212 degrees F).
You can do the same thing in a regular sauce pan or frying pan if you're careful with the heat (take the pan off the element as it heats up).
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:53 AM on August 20, 2009


Like everyone above, I'm here to tell you that a DIY double-boiler is easy and cheap! I usually just turn on the heat in the water-filled saucepan, let it come to a boil, then turn it off completely; the reisdual hot water vapor trapped between the saucepan and the bowl is usually warm enough to melt chocolate and marshmallows for about ten minutes.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:05 PM on August 20, 2009


You can also use a smaller saucepan and a larger one. For example, a 2 quart saucepan resting inside a 3 or 4 quart saucepan. Then you have the added advantage of a handle - scraping out a metal bowl that is hot from the boiling water can be a little tricky sometimes, and a handle helps.
posted by ambrosia at 12:15 PM on August 20, 2009


Not sure if your intent is to use up the marshmallows or to have a good flavor to your pie, so I will comment to let you know that Boiled 7-Minute Frosting (also called Sea Foam Frosting) is exactly like marshmallow cream.

Not sure if my new membership will allow me to post links, but it's on the HeritageRecipes dot com website, named Sea-Foam Frosting. It uses a makeshift double boiler, as everyone else has already described.
posted by CathyG at 12:18 PM on August 20, 2009


I'm seconding CathyG's recommendation for Seven Minute Frosting. It tastes just like marshmallow creme... but better!
posted by MorningPerson at 12:36 PM on August 20, 2009


Nthing the suggestions for a homemade double boiler. It's super easy to do and if you don't have any pans that would work, I'm sure a friend or neighbour does. The whole idea is to keep the marshmallows from going above the boiling temperature of water.

An alternative, as seen on the Food Network's Good Eats, is to use a household heating pad and put a bowl in the centre. Alton Brown uses it to melt chocolate, which may not be strong enough for marshmallows, but figure I'd put the option out there.
posted by battlebison at 12:55 PM on August 20, 2009


You can put a smaller saucepan on top of a slightly larger, water-filled saucepan, to make a homemade double-boiler. The smaller saucepan only needs to be small enough that the base fits into the top of the larger saucepan (and large enough that the base does not rest on the bottom of the other pan). Works for me - I have used this technique for everything from chocolate to candle wax. Just watch it to ensure that the water does not boil dry.
posted by Susurration at 12:59 PM on August 20, 2009


Nthing how easy it is to fake a double boiler. My preferred method is to take one of those glass measuring cups, put it inside a saucepan so the cup part is in the pan and the handle hangs over the edge, fill the saucepan with water, put whatever wants melting into the measuring cup, and put the whole works on the stove. Works great, even if the measuring cup touches the bottom of the pan slightly. Just don't leave it unattended for long periods of time or let the pan boil dry, and turn down the burner a little once the water's boiling.
posted by tellumo at 1:19 PM on August 20, 2009


fwiw - marshmallow fluff and marshmallows are different. it's not just melted marshmallows. one difference i know about is that marshmallows have gelatin and fluff does not.

here's a fluff recipe with no melting or cooking.
posted by nadawi at 4:01 PM on August 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just to clarify, the idea behind a double-boiler and its homemade counterpart is that the simmering water in the saucepan does not touch the bottom of the metal bowl above it. Only the steam will heat the marshmallows. (This is opposed to a bain-marie where whatever you're heating sits in the water).

You'll need to experiment with combinations of your various-sized saucepans and heatproof (ie metal or glass) bowl to get that to work.
posted by thebazilist at 5:34 PM on August 20, 2009


Yes, you can melt marshmallows without a double boiler, we do it at work all the time for the Rice Krispie squares we sell in the bakery. Just watch your heat, keep stirring (not too much or you'll develop a lot of stringy ickiness), keep an eye on it.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:42 PM on August 20, 2009


Do your recipes for marshmallow cream actually involve melting the marshmallows, or are they the kind of thing where you're beating sugar and water and gelatin and whatnot over a double boiler? As nadawi mentioned, marshmallow fluff is not the same thing as melted marshmallows, and marshmallow creme may or may not be a third, entirely separate thing.

If you just need to melt some marshmallows, I'd recommend the microwave. If you need to be mixing things while they melt (like for from-scratch marshmallow cream), you're going to have to do it over the stove so you can keep the mixer going while everything heats. In that case your best bet is the previously-recommended large bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.

As much as I love 7-minute frosting, I find that it's neither as sticky nor as dense as real marshmallow fluff. It would probably make a delicious pie, but it may not taste quite like s'mores since it's not really marshmallowy.
posted by vytae at 1:11 PM on August 21, 2009


Not sure if your intent is to use up the marshmallows or to have a good flavor to your pie...posted by CathyG at 3:18 PM on August 20

My intent was to use the marshmallows in a recipe before I ate them all myself right out of the bag :)

If you just need to melt some marshmallows, I'd recommend the microwave...posted by vytae at 4:11 PM on August 21

Microwave on medium-low heat (if it goes to 10, try a 4). Stir every minute or so...posted by palliser at 2:49 PM on August 20

I was sure that this was the easiest way but I hate using the microwave, but thank you for the suggestion.

I'm seconding CathyG's recommendation for Seven Minute Frosting...posted by MorningPerson at 3:36 PM on August 20


My bad for not specifying that my intention was to use what ever I had in the house without going out to buy extra ingredients, but thank you for the suggestion.

My preferred method is to take one of those glass measuring cups, put it inside a saucepan so the cup part is in the pan and the handle hangs over the edge, fill the saucepan with water, put whatever wants melting into the measuring cup, and put the whole works on the stove. Works great, even if the measuring cup touches the bottom of the pan slightly...posted by tellumo at 4:19 PM on August 20

This is the method I used and I love it! I tried with two sauce pans but my pan sizes were not working for me, so I tried it with the glass measuring cup and now my s'more pie recipe is coming together quite nicely. Thank you. :)

Do your recipes for marshmallow cream actually involve melting the marshmallows, or are they the kind of thing where you're beating sugar and water and gelatin and whatnot over a double boiler?...posted by vytae at 4:11 PM on August 21

The recipes I found were for homemade fluff, which I didn't know until this thread, is not the same as marshmallow cream
posted by SheMulp AKA Plus 1 at 12:52 AM on August 22, 2009


P.S. I will have pictures and the recipe up soon. you all rock!
posted by SheMulp AKA Plus 1 at 12:56 AM on August 22, 2009


Incidentally, I found while camping one summer that marshmallows basically turn into fluff if you pull them between your fingers for a few minutes. I don't see any reason why this wouldn't work with minis. Just grab a handful and pull them in half, mash them back together, and pull apart again until they're the consistency you want.
posted by Caviar at 7:34 PM on August 23, 2009


You're welcome! And thebazilist is right--what I described is not so much a fake double-boiler as a fake bain-marie. Glad to hear it worked.
posted by tellumo at 6:28 PM on February 7, 2010


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