The fact that I have a severe allergic reaction to Summer (also known as hatred) is no secret. Living in a city that beckons to tourists, the oncoming slought of vacation-goers who don’t know a thing about the city they’re in and crowd onto the trains pressing you up again strangers and people that smell like cumin, stop in doorways so you’re stuck out in the sweltering heat, stand in the middle of sidewalk as a crowd parts around them is increasingly annoying. Especially when you add in the temperature outside. You can walk outside and immediately run into a wall of heat that takes all of your energy away. That smile you woke up with? Gone. Dead. On the sidewall. Perspiration drips out of every pore just for being alive in this place at this very moment. Us Summer haters seek solace in our darkened and air conditioned apartments. The windows are boarded up with blinds and curtains, we don’t want any extra heat to find it’s way in. We avoiding doing errands so that we don’t have to crawl outside during the day to be beaten with the suns rays and get an unbearable burn.
No. I DON’T want to go the beach and be surrounded by screaming children, overly confident people wearing bathing suits that are far too small and too revealing and seagulls divebombing me for my food that’s currently covered in sand that I don’t even want anymore. I would rather be inside drinking a Gin & Tonic and binging the entire series of “The Good Wife” for the umpteenth time. Finding sand for days isn’t my idea of a good time. I also don’t really like having to swat off bees as I’m enjoying a cocktail outside. I don’t want to sweat. I do enough of that at work. How many more months until September? Make. It. Stop. Please.
All that being said, there are a few qualities of the summer season that I actually do find somewhat enjoyable. Backyard barbecues, hanging out by the pool drinking, sitting out on the deck (in the shade) reading in the morning, playing cards at night out on said deck. But, when you live in a third floor apartment with no private deck, no private pool and no private yard or garden…in a densely packed neighborhood…in a city, those enjoyable things are much harder to come by. But there is one activity that you can still sort of do. S’mores. You don’t need a grill or a fire (however, that does make it 100 times better). Graham crackers + chocolate pieces + marshmallows toasted over an open stove flame makes the S’mores you’ve come to know and love.
But do you love S’mores? I mean, yes, they’re good. But, I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I feel like they’re a bit overrated. Yes, it’s a delicious combination of graham cracker, chocolate and toasted marshmallow. The ingredients are cheap, it’s easy to prepare: just unwrap it all and make your guests make it themselves. You also get to play with fire. But here’s my problem with S’mores. They’re hard to eat. The chocolate never melts enough. The cracker crumbles right away. And then you get all stickey and gooey from the marshmallow. Some people will probably say that’s what half the fun about them is. You’re outside. It’s summer. Just hop in the pool or ocean to clean up. Yes, the smell of the fire is fantastic. But it’s messy. And if you’re like me, you don’t like messy. I love lobster, but I hate cracking the little bastards apart. That’s why I love lobster rolls. The work is all done. I just get to eat it right away.
So this anti-Summer, inside dwelling, cold seeking baker set out to make a version of S’mores that was easy to eat, not messy and just as delicious.
And that has happened. All in the form of a tart. Elegant enough for a dinner party, but easy enough to make just to indulge yourself. Seriously, you could. you could just cut down the recipe a bit to make it individual size.
So as summer (FINALLY) comes to an end and I’m getting inspired by everything Autumn I’m seeing, I’m going to share this recipe with you. It’s pretty simple. I say that for everything. But it is. You might notice, however, that there are no marshmallows. But there is meringue. For those who don’t know, marshmallows are meringue with gelatin and left out to dry. So you know how you love the gooey marshmallow with S’mores? The meringue is all goo and no dry bits. However, if making meringue scares you, plop some marshmallows on top. Because why not. That would work.
One last note is that I don’t have a kitchen torch. I want one. I just don’t own one yet. So this recipes tells you how to torch your meringue without a torch. But if you’ve got a torch, use the torch. Because it’s fun.