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Peanut Butter Pie Recipe & Video

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A Peanut Butter Pie is like a giant peanut butter cup. It is an elegant looking pie with its smooth chocolate ganache topping all covered with crunchy peanuts. Inside is a rich and creamy, no bake peanut butter filling that is set in a chocolate cookie crumb crust. Now that is pure indulgence.

There are many different recipes for a Peanut Butter Pie. This recipe is one I adapted from Richard Sax's Classic Home Desserts. I like it because it has a chocolate ganache topping, which many recipes do not include, and I also like how he reduces the amount of heavy cream in the peanut butter filling from the usual 1 cup (240 ml) to 1/2 cup (120 ml). I find that 1/2 cup cream lightens the filling yet it does not dilute the rich peanut butter flavor. Now, this Peanut Butter Pie has a chocolate cookie crumb crust. You can use either chocolate wafer cookies or Oreo Cookies that have been processed in your food processor until finely ground. To the crumbs add a little melted butter and sugar, press the crumbs into a 9 inch (23 cm) pie pan (or you can use a 9 inch spring form pan) and bake in a moderate oven until set. While the crust cools, mix the filling ingredients together. First, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until soft and creamy and then beat in the sugar and vanilla extract. (Try to use "pure" vanilla extract, not the "imitation", as they are made with synthetic vanilla and can leave a bitter after taste). Then, in a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream (cream that contains 36-40% butterfat) until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and refrigerate until firm. The next step is to cover the peanut butter filling with a chocolate Ganache. Ganache is a creamy smooth mixture of cream, butter, and semi sweet chocolate (can use milk chocolate) that is made by simply melting the chocolate with the butter and cream in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Once you spread the Ganache over the chilled Peanut Butter Pie, the final step is a sprinkling of chopped salted peanuts. This Peanut Butter Pie will keep in the refrigerator for about a week, although it never lasts that long in my home. Serve in small slices.

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Chocolate Crust:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Have ready a 9 inch (23 cm) pie pan. (A 9 inch spring form pan can be used.)

In a large bowl, mix together the chocolate crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan. (If using a spring form pan, press the crumb mixture onto the bottom and about one inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the pan.) Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 8 - 10 minutes or until firm. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Peanut Butter Filling: In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and peanut butter until well blended and smooth. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the vanilla extract. In a clean bowl, beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. With a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Pour the filling over the cooled chocolate crust and smooth the top. Cover loosely and place in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours or until firm.

Ganache: Melt the chocolate, cream, and butter in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature and then spread the ganache over the peanut butter filling. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired. Cover and place in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. The Peanut Butter Pie will keep about one week in the refrigerator. Serve in small slices.

Serves about 12 people.

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Sax, Richard. Classic Home Desserts. Houghton Mifflin Company. New York: 1994.

Rombauer, Irma S., Becker, Marion Rombauer & Becker, Ethan. The All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking. Scribner. New York: 1997.

Chocolate Crust:

1 1/2 cups (150 grams) chocolate wafer crumbs or Oreo Cookie crumbs

2 tablespoons (30 grams) granulated white sugar

6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted

Peanut Butter Filling:

8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup (240 ml) peanut butter, creamy or chunky

1 cup (115 grams) confectioners sugar (powdered or icing)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream (double cream) (contains 36-40% butterfat)


4 ounces (120 grams) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy whipping cream (double cream) (contains 36-40% butterfat)

1 tablespoon (13 grams) unsalted butter, cut in small pieces

Garnish: (Optional)

Chopped Salted Peanuts

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