Friday, February 24, 2017

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie


 If you are new to my blog, you may not have noticed I have a very structured format when it comes to posting.  My recipes are broken into several different categories that include cookies, healthy treats, quick & easy desserts, etc.  One of these categories is “cupcakes,” a dessert that happens to be one of my favorite to make because of the options with the cake, fillings, icing and toppings.  The endless flavor combinations appeal to the experimental baker in me and the presentation possibilities make decorating and photographing cupcakes more of a joy than a job.  I love to make them.
I just don’t love to eat them.

If given the choice between cupcakes and almost any other dessert, I will almost always chose the latter.  It’s not just cupcakes either; I’m not a fan of regular cake either.  I’ll eat a few bites for tasting purposes but it’s not something I ever crave.

Pie, on the other hand, is a treat I could eat every day.  Fruit, custard, cream, meringue…you name it, I love it.  I enjoy playing with the layers and using different flavors, textures and colors.  Chocolate and peanut butter is a classic pairing that works beautifully in pie form, though my recipe is somewhat different than most that use a peanut butter mousse and/or chocolate ganache.  My alternate version is for those peanut butter purists who want the real thing in their desserts.  This chocolate peanut butter pie is heavy on sweet & salty peanut butter which balances perfectly with a crunchy cookie crust and rich, creamy chocolate mousse.

And did I mention that no baking is involved?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Crust

  • 30 Oreo cookies
  • 3 T salted butter

Base

  • 1-1/2 C peanut butter
  • 1 C granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 1 t salt

Mousse

  • 2 C dark chocolate wafers
  • 3 C heavy cream
  • 1-1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 t salt

Garnish

  • 1 T peanut butter, melted
  • 1 T chocolate sauce

Equipment

  • bowl (x2)
  • microwavable bowl (x2)
  • spatula
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • piping bag (x2)
  • hand mixer
  • blender or food processor
  • 4” fluted tart pans with removable bottoms (x6)
  • cookie sheet


Place tart pans on a cookie sheet; the pans do not need lined or greased as the butter in the crust will prevent any sticking.  Place the butter in a microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave in 15 second bursts until liquefied.  In a food processor or blender grind the Oreo (or similar) cookies into fine cookie crumbs.  Drizzle the butter into the mixture while on a low speed until fully combined and the crumbs look and feel similar to wet sand.


If you do not have a machine to grind the cookies, you can place them in a plastic bag and roll them with a rolling pin.  Your grind won’t be as uniform but it will work just as well.  Divide the mixture evenly between the six pans and using your fingers or a spoon, press it evenly over the bottom and sides.  Apply a good amount of pressure so it is well compacted or the crust will crumble and fall apart later.



In a bowl combine the peanut butter, sugar, milk and salt.  Stir with a spatula or hand mixer until fully combined.  Spoon into a piping bag and fill each pie crust with the peanut butter filling.  You do not have to use a piping bag but if you spoon it into the pies, be sure to smooth the top.


Place the pan in the fridge to set up while you prepare the mousse.  Begin by adding one cup of the cream and the chocolate wafers to a bowl.  Melt over a double boiler or in a microwave in short bursts, stirring in between until the chocolate has fully combined with the cream.  Set aside and allow to cool completely.


In a large bowl pour in the remainder of the heavy cream and whip until stiff.  Slowly add the granulated sugar, vanilla and salt until combined, whipping to ensure ingredients are incorporated and no volume is lost.  Whip the chocolate mixture to loosen, then add into the whipped cream and fold together until just blended.  Be sure not to overmix as it can deflate the mousse.


Add the mousse to a piping bag and pipe it onto the top of each pie, creating a dome in the same way you would frost a cupcake.  Place the pies back into the fridge and allow them to set for at least four hours.  Before serving, warm the peanut butter and drizzle it and chocolate sauce over each pie.  One small pie can serve one or two people so it’s a great dessert for a couple to share.