I remember eating this dessert but had never looked at the recipe itself. My younger self was more concerned with who got more marshmallow topping than details of the recipe. Underneath that coveted, crunchy yet gooey toasted marshmallow layer I remember layers of graham cracker crumbs and applesauce.
All that butter and brown sugar makes sense if you're using dried bread, but not so much if you're using graham cracker crumbs. I cut back on both without any problems. So, we have an apple cake that's not cake and then used different ingredients. I told you it was a nontraditional tradition. At least we layered the applesauce and crumbs and, more importantly, kept the marshmallow layer.
Can we just talk about those marshmallows for a minute? They get that perfect toasty golden brown marshmallow flavor just like smores. Unlike smores these marshmallows have an extra thick crunchy dimension before you get to the gooey, stringy center still all oozing and melted. If you don't happen to pick off all the marshmallows on your first helping, you'll find they loose their crunch as leftovers. You know what that means, right? You totally have permission to swipe and extra spoonful off the top while it's fresh.
recipe adapted from my mom and grandma
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 1 sleeve)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1-1/2 cups applesauce
1 cup miniature marshmallows
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and melted butter.
*In a 1-quart casserole dish (or individual serving dishes) spoon alternating layers of crumb mixture then applesauce, beginning and ending with crumb layers. Sprinkle marshmallows on top. Bake 25-30 minutes or until marshmallows are golden and applesauce is heated through. Serve warm.
I almost made it all the way through without hinting how easily peanut butter could sneak in here.