Momma’s Rum Pie
For Mother’s Day and beyond, a great gift for mom is to thank her for specific memories that you treasure. For me, so many of those moments happened in the kitchen. When I think back on my favorite childhood summertime food memories, my momma’s original rum pie takes the cake, and I remind her about it all the time.
I was about 8 years old when she created this recipe for her gourmet Italian restaurant at Lake Tahoe. As I would roll that spoon around in my mouth getting every last lick of whipped creamy marshmallow filling, I remember thinking I’ll never eat anything as good as this dessert. Momma’s Rum Cake was the hit during the winter months and she wanted to match its popularity with something a little more delicate for the summer season. She hit it big with this creamy and fantastic dessert. Here is momma’s recollection:
“Whenever I see marshmallows, I think of the thousands of rum pies that I served at the restaurant through the years. I had never seen a recipe like it before and I haven’t seen one since. I had a few talented helpers in the kitchen back then—Gino, Mario and Reno. We would huddle together and start experimenting. We wanted to create a light dessert that we could serve in slivers, with a very unique flavor to satisfy the palette. That way, our customers could enjoy a hearty Italian meal and still have room for little slice of heaven at the end of it. My rum cakes were reserved for special parties, but my rum pies were served every evening.”
I never got to eat as much of that rum pie as I wanted to. I always thought it was because of the “R” word—an ingredient that should never be consumed by children. Years later I realized that was merely rum extract, and I was actually shushed away from the pie shelf so as to save plenty for our customers. Oh, they were the lucky ones! And now you are, too. Here’s my momma’s original recipe for her to-die for rum pie!
Momma’s Rum Pie
(Makes 2 eight-inch pies)
For Chocolate Pie Crusts:
1 1/2 cups chocolate wafers (Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers), crushed fine
1/4 cup melted butter
(or 2 ready-made chocolate piecrusts may be substituted if desired)
In a food processor, blend chocolate wafers into crumbs. Reserve 2 tablespoons for pie topping. In a bowl, add melted butter to remainder of crumbs and mix together. Press crumb mixture firmly against bottom and sides of two 8-inch pie pans. Refrigerate crusts while making filling.
For the Filling:
1(16 oz) package marshmallows (small or large)
1/4 cup water
3 teaspoons pure rum extract, (or vanilla if preferred)
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Combine whipped cream, rum (or vanilla) extract and powdered sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form, then refrigerate. Melt marshmallows in a double boiler over medium heat. When marshmallows begin to melt, add water, a little at a time, stirring with a spatula to make sure marshmallows do not stick. Stir until mixture is completely melted. Cool mixture down to lukewarm and then gently fold whipped cream mixture into marshmallows, making sure mixture is well incorporated. Pour into the two piecrusts. Sprinkle tops with cookie crumbs or grated chocolate. Refrigerate for several hours. Serve chilled. Serving size 6-8.
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