Saturday, August 28, 2010

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie

A creamy pie made of peanut butter, cream cheese, cream and brown sugar, prepared in a chocolate cookie crust and garnished with chocolate syrup and chopped peanuts.

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie

It'd be a rare southern cook who didn't have some form of peanut butter pie in his or her dessert repertoire and there are several popular varieties, including a favorite of mine that is what I consider an old fashioned peanut butter pie. Made in layers, beginning with a layer of peanut butter crumble, then topped with a layer of homemade custard mixed with peanut butter and topped with more crumble and often meringue. Now that's old school, scratch cookin' and boy is it delicious! There's also the more popular version that combines peanut butter with often large amounts of non-dairy topping. Quick, easy and also very good.

I've had a few requests lately though for a peanut butter pie that is not so heavy on the whipped topping and more cheesecake-like, and I think that this one achieves that. While it does use some heavy cream, it is only 1/2 a cup, a mere drop in comparison to some of the cream cheese based recipes that call for as much as eight times that!  I used nut mix leftover from my banana splits to top my pie, so while peanuts would be most appropriate, use whatever you have on hand.  Also, where many recipes use powdered sugar, making them sometimes a bit too sweet, we've used brown sugar here instead, which seems to soften that sweetness a bit.  Don't worry, even though this pie is also quick and easy, it is still plenty rich and sweet.

Use a commercial pre-made chocolate pie crust if you like. I used the chocolate sables that I made the other day, which were very rich and didn't need much in the way of additional moisture from the melted butter to bind them. If you are making a homemade cookie crust using plain chocolate wafer cookies, you may need more towards the 4 tablespoons of melted butter.

Here's how to make it.

Recipe: Creamy Peanut Butter Pie

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 15 min | Yield: About 8 servings


For the Crust:
  • 1-1/2 cups of crushed chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons of melted butter, more or less, or just enough to moisten the crumbs
For the Filling:
  • 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 overflowing teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 1 (8 ounce) block of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup of finely chopped peanuts, for garnish
  • Chocolate syrup, for garnish

If making a homemade chocolate cookie crust, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs with some of the melted butter until the crumbs begin to bind. You may or may not need all of the butter, depending on the type of cookie you are using. Turn the crumbs out into a 9-inch pie plate and press into the bottom and sides of the pie plate to form a pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack before filling.

Beat the heavy whipping cream with a mixer on medium until it begins to get frothy and thicken slightly. Add in the vanilla and then the brown sugar, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Increase speed and continue whipping until cream stiffens and soft peaks form. Scrape out into a separate bowl and set aside. In the same mixing bowl, add the peanut butter and cream cheese; beat on medium until smooth and well blended.

Add 1/2 of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture and fold in by hand until blended. Add the remaining whipped cream; fold in. Transfer to the prepared and cooled chocolate crust and swirl or smooth out top. Sprinkle with nuts, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Remove from refrigerator, allow to sit for about 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Drizzle each serving with the chocolate syrup before serving, or simply drizzle all over the top of the whole pie before slicing, if preferred.

Cook's Note: Oreos work well with this as do plain chocolate wafers, or to shortcut this, purchase a pre-made, commercial chocolate cookie crust.


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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on August 28, 2010
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