I like peanut butter, but I'm somewhat annoyed by the way it coats the inside of my mouth when I try to eat a spoonful of it. It's even a problem between two slices of bread or crackers, particularly if there's no jelly or jam to moisten things up.*
*Ever had a sandwich consisting of saltines and peanut butter? That's dry mouth at its finest!
What better way to combat this dilemma than to lighten the stuff up with whipped cream? Let's put it all in a pie shell and top it with chocolate while we're at it.
Folks, this is a really good pie. The recipe comes from Joy of Cookingso you know it's legitimate. I changed it a little--I bumped up the whipped cream portion by 50% because I love a super light and fluffy filling, but feel free to use just 1 cup of cream. It'll still be magnificent.
The peanuts on top are entirely optional, but I'd encourage that you use them (with stipulations**). The salty crunch that they provide is a nice contrast to the creamy filling.
**What stipulations, you ask? I beg you, please use salted peanuts. As far as I'm concerned, there's no need to ever purchase any unsalted nuts. Those of you feeding folks with salt-intake issues need not heed this plea.
And just like that, we have defeated peanut butter in its attempt to coat the entirety of our mouths. Huzzah!
Creamy Peanut Butter Pie
Adapted from Joy of Cooking: 75th Anniversary Edition - 2006
- One chocolate cookie crust
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- l cup smooth peanut butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 ounces of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped salted peanuts (optional)
Prepare the chocolate crust as directed.
To make the pie filling, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar and vanilla on medium speed just until smoothly blended.
In a separate bowl, beat 1-1/2 cups cold heavy cream on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form.
Using a large rubber spatula, fold half of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture to lighten it, then fold in the remaining cream.
Spread the mixture evenly in the pie crust.
Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.
To make the ganache topping, bring 1/3 cup heavy cream and the butter to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat.
Remove from heat and stir in the chopped chocolate until smooth.
Let cool to lukewarm, then pour the glaze over the pie and spread evenly.
Sprinkle with 1/3 cup chopped salted peanuts, if desired.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours before slicing and serving.