I usually stand in the same position at the stove when I’m tending to whatever is bubbling. Weight shifted onto one foot, toes of the other foot tucked into the arch of the standing foot.
I suppose it’s a throwback to 10 years of strict ballet lessons, the kind with high windows in an old building with a scarred hardwood floor and a ballet teacher who pounded that floor with her crystal-knobbed cane in time with the music like a giant strict top-knotted French metronome, who would yell (in French) if you were off beat and she never lost tempo.
But now, I stand at the stove in my kitchen in some sort of 3rd position variation, 20+ years after I hung up my pointe shoes.
I hear someone singing softly from the other room. Carefully approaching notes like they might run away if you hit them too aggressively. They’re making up songs as they clean the living room, and it’s something about a dust bunny and a cat. I can’t quite make it out.
Behind me through the open kitchen window, I hear the neighbors across the alley. They’re playing one last game of cornhole before the weather turns and we have to spend more time indoors.
She’s laughing and he’s telling some splendidly terrible jokes. As usual, I’ll send Wolfgang over to them with some of whatever I’m experiment-cooking when I am all done.
They’re really amazing taste testers, and I’m grateful for the willingness they had in opening their door in the dead of winter last year to their weird new neighbor and a plateful of marshmallows. They also introduced me to the joy of Fluffernutter sandwiches, and my life will never be the same.
Inside the kitchen, fall has arrived.
It smells like pie, but there will be no pie today. (And not because I have not yet mastered the pie crust.)
There will be marshmallows.
Oh, there will be marshmallows.
Get a piece of pumpkin pie, but in marshmallow form!
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup cold water
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 2 scoops Vital Proteins grassfed gelatin can also use 3 1/4-oz envelopes of store-bought gelatin
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Pour half of the water into a bowl fitted on your stand mixer. Sprinkle your gelatin over the water and set aside.
Get your 9×11 baking dish (I used an 8×10 for thicker marshmallows). Line it with aluminum foil, then spray that foil lightly with baking spray. Set aside.
Combine the remainder of the water plus the sugar, salt and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves.
Increase heat to medium, clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and WATCH THE POT. Seriously, don’t walk away right now. It can boil up real fast. If it boils up, lift the pot off the heat and decrease your burner a notch.
Cook without stirring until syrup reaches 235-240°.
Start the mixer on low, and pour the syrup in a slow steady stream down the side of the bowl.
When all syrup is incorporated, increase speed slowly to high.
While this is beating, get a spatula and a glass of water.
ALSO - combine the pumpkin and the pie spice in a small bowl.
Beat until mixture has tripled in volume, is glossy, thick, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl as you mix. When you pull the beater out of the mix, it should fall in large slow ribbons and be slow to melt back into the bowl.
Fold in the pumpkin mixture with a spatula until fairly well-incorporated.
Pour mixture into your prepared baking dish. Use your damp spatula to scrape out the bowl and smooth the top. Work fast – this stiffens up QUICK.
Set aside to set for 4 hours (or overnight).
Sift together the cornstarch and powdered sugar and spread some of that mixture onto a clean work surface (leave the rest in a bowl). Turn your marshmallows out onto this surface and remove the foil.
Use a damp knife (that glass of water comes in handy!) and cut into squares in the size of your choosing.
Toss your squares in the remaining cornstarch/powdered sugar mix and shake off excess.
Store in an airtight container for up to 10 days, though they probably won’t last that long.
Need to snag yourself some Vital Proteins gelatin? Use my affiliate link here and get a HUGE tub for only $49!
This post was written as a part of the NaBloPoMo, a daily blogging journey I am committing to in November 2017.