Monday, February 8, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie #5

We debated a little bit about what a "Pie" actually is after this last one.
Ryan claims that a pie is:

1-a crust that you roll out
2-filled with fruit
3-has a crust on the top

And although I'd like to support him in his reasoning, while I've been searching for recipes, I've spent a bit of time reading up on what a pie actually is (especially weighted against a tart) and I've found the definition to be fairly loose:

1-cooked in a pie pan
2-has a crust
3-and a filling

And the variations are according to your desires.

I guess...but I'm willing to correct myself if I find out that's not correct.

However, even if you don't believe in cookie crusts or silky smooth fillings in your pie, you can't deny the deliciousness of this pie.

(Unless you don't believe that peanut butter and chocolate are a delicious combination. In that case, we probably can't be friends.)

Also, I wasn't trying to make things harder than they should be, but I think it's time to tell you that I have an obsession with making things from scratch. And since I'm doing lists today, here's why I'm obsessed with making things from scratch:

1-it tastes better (most of the time)
2-it costs less (some of the time)
3-and it doesn't have all the unnatural preservatives/high fructose corn syrup/ingredients that I can't pronounce in them (which, if the other two reasons aren't backing my obsession, this one always is)

For that reason, I made Graham Crackers and used them for my crust and I'll share the recipe here. I have to admit (even though I don't want to) that using store bought graham crackers is probably not going to ruin this pie (but I do believe the homemade cookies made it even better and always will).

This pie had just the right amount of sweet and moussey peanut butter to rich chocolate and I thought the crust was the perfect compliment. (And to think, I almost made a chocolate crust!) So, whether you want to call this a pie or not, and I think Ryan will agree, it is delectable. Oh man, I'm starting to get hungry again just thinking about it.

Peanut Butter Pie
(adapted from
Bubby's Homemade Pies)

Graham Crackers:

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons water
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
6 tablespoons sugar
1 egg, well beaten
¼ cup honey

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, and salt, and set aside.

Dissolve the baking soda in the water, then set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and egg until they are light and fluffy. Add the honey and baking soda mixture, and mix until incorporated. Add the flour mixture gradually, scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally, and mix just until uniform.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 2 lumps. On a generously floured (use all-purpose) surface, roll out the dough one lump at a time to 1/8 inch thick. Cut the dough into approximately 4x4-inch sections, so that they will be easy to flip with a spatula during baking. Place the sections on a baking sheet 1 inch apart and roll out the rest of the crackers in the same way. Poke each cracker several times with a fork.

Bake the crackers for 6 to 8 minutes, then flip them over (the underside should be lightly browned). Bake for another 4 to 6 minutes, until the other side is lightly browned. Turn the oven off and open the oven door. Loosen the crackers with a spatula, snack on a few, and let the remaining dry out in the oven for 2 more hours.

Graham Cracker Crust
Makes one 8- to 10-inch single crust

1 1/2 cups Graham Cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
Pinch salt
5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

In a large bowl, mix the crumbs, sugar, and salt. Add the butter and stir until evenly combined. (You don’t need to worry about overworking a crumb crust.)

Press this mixture into an 8-to-10-inch pie tin with your fingers, striving to make the distribution and thickness of the crumb crust as even and compacted as possible. If you’re using an aluminum tin and you have a spare, press the spare tin on top of the crumb crust and put pressure on the top tin to make the crumbs more compact. Remove the second aluminum tin. Refrigerate the crust for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F. Bake the crust for 8 minutes uncovered, until it begins to smell good and is lightly browned near the crust edge. Cool at room temperature and refrigerate before filling.

Peanut Butter Filling
1 recipe Graham Cracker Crust
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter

3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1½ cups heavy cream

Chocolate Ganache

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate

¾ cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons shaved chocolate, to decorate the top

Use the paddle attachment of an electric mixer at medium, then high speed, to beat together the sugar, peanut butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until they are light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it holds good, stiff peaks.
Place a few spoonfuls of whipped cream in the peanut butter mixture and mix on medium speed to combine evenly. Add the remaining whipped cream and fold it into the mousse on the slowest setting, until all the chunks are gone. Cover and refrigerate.

Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over low heat and stir until smooth.
Add the cream, stirring continuously, until completely combined. Spread a thick layer of ganache in the pie shell, covering the bottom and the sides of the crust as evenly as possible, using an offset spatula, spreading from the center outward and up the sides with arcing strokes. Chill the crust in the freezer until the ganache is set.

Fill the pie with the peanut butter mousse, smoothing the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the top of the pie with the shaved chocolate.

Refrigerate the pie for at least 2 hours before serving. Store it in the refrigerator loosely covered for up to 4 days.


  1. About a year ago Denny's discontinued their chocolate peanut butter pie. I was devastated. Now I can make one of my own. (Except it's highly unlikely that I ever will. Dang!) This looks SO good.

  2. You know, the first thing I think of when I see this pie is visiting teaching. Just sayin'...