Turn Rice Krispies Treats Into Your Favorite Pie

Fall, or so the marketing industry would have us believe, is pumpkin pie season, and on Thanksgiving, this particular pie is practically de rigueur. The problem is that not everybody actually likes it. The pumpkin, while technically a fruit, tastes like the squash that it is, and for some of us, there's no amount of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in the world that will make it sufficiently dessert-like for us. As an alternative, however, we present this trompe-l'œil "pie" that is really nothing more than one giant Rice Krispies (or generic puffed rice cereal) treat.

How do you make this? You follow the basic Rice Krispies treat recipe and mix the cereal with melted marshmallows and butter to get your sticky, gooey building material. You then form it into a crust inside a pie pan (or muffin pan for mini tarts), leaving a hollow in the middle where the filling would be. Make up another batch of Rice Krispies treats, but this time, add some orange (or red+yellow) food coloring to the marshmallows and butter before you stir in the cereal. Take the resulting sticky orange stuff and stuff it into the plain-colored pie crust, then let it chill to firm it up. If you want to give a token nod to the essence of pumpkin pie, you can flavor the treats with a touch of the spice of the same name, but if you're really not a fan of pumpkin-flavored stuff you can always leave it out.

A Rice Krispies treat crust can be used for a real pie, as well

As the generally accepted definition of pie is that of a filling inside a baked crust — and that filling, whether it be sweet or savory, typically contrasts with the crust rather than simply consisting of yet more crust — the Rice Krispies "pumpkin pie" we just described is not a pie (much less a pumpkin one) by any stretch of the imagination. You can, however, make use of the first part of the recipe to make a crust for a more standard type of pie. Rice Krispies does include a recipe for pie crust on its website, although in this recipe all you are doing is mixing the unsweetened cereal with butter. Should you prefer a sweeter crust, though, you may go ahead and add the melted marshmallows as per the Rice Krispies treat recipe.

As for the filling, ice cream, pudding, or other creamy, no-bake filling would make for something quick, easy, and delicious. Should you prefer a fruit pie, however, you'll need to cook the filling separately as the Rice Krispies crust won't benefit from spending any time in the oven. Still, a canned or pre-cooked apple pie filling would go well with Rice Krispies treats flavored with cinnamon, while almond extract added to the butter and marshmallows could make a great crust for a cherry pie.