This isn’t a pie for Cinco de Mayo.
Or the Kentucky Derby. Or Mother’s Day.
It’s for those times when it feels like the holidays are jumping directly up your butt, and you’re wondering what sadist put Cinco de Mayo, the Derby and Mother’s Day IN THE SAME WEEK. Because your dog is still hacking up Easter grass. And you’re still writing “2010.” And last week, while you were powering through your 567th jumping jack with Jillian Michaels, your iPod started blaring “Feliz Navidad.” (Note to Self: Seriously?)
Will this Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie make you feel better?
It’ll make you feel like your body parts are slathered in moonbeams and awesome.
The recipe comes from Sara Foster’s new cookbook, “Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen,” which is one of the “Big Three” Southern cookbooks I’ve been waiting for this year. (The other two are Martha Hall Foose’s “A Southerly Course” and Virginia Willis’ “Basic to Brilliant, Y’all.”) It’s a beautiful book, full of gorgeous photos that manage to make even fried catfish and pimento cheese look glamorous. And mouth-watering.
But this pie was my first must-make from the book. A Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie with an Oreo cookie crust, filled with soft chocolate ganache and a tangy peanut butter-cream cheese filling, and topped with a mound of whipped cream piled with chocolate-drizzled peanuts.
Each component is thank-God simple. The pie crust comes together with a few pulses of the food processor and a little melted butter. The ganache is made by heating cream in your microwave, pouring it over a bowl of chocolate chips, and stirring the two together. The peanut butter filling is a combination of peanut butter, cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and whipped cream. There’s no fussing with pie dough. No baking the pie, other than setting the cookie crust.
The first bite threw me, because I expected the pie to be sweet all the way through, but the cream cheese in the peanut butter filling adds an unexpected tang, and the dry-roasted peanuts bring a little saltiness as well as crunch. The second bite sold me, and the third made me realize that I didn’t need to be alone in the house with this pie. That pool of chocolate ganache at the bottom is just so smooth and creamy, I would swim in it if it didn’t involve buying a bathing suit.
Which reminds me, back to Jillian and the “30 Day Shred.”
Minus “Feliz Navidad.”
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie
Adapted from Sara Foster’s “Sara Foster’s Southern Kitchen”
Makes one 9-inch pie; Serves 8 to 10
- 1 pre-baked 9-inch Black Bottom Cookie Crust (see below), with 1/4 cup ground peanuts
Chocolate Ganache Layer:
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
Peanut Butter Layer:
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy cream, divided
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups whipped cream, reserved from the peanut butter layer
- 3/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, divided
- 2 tablespoons ganache, reserved from the Chocolate Ganache Layer)
- Chocolate Ganache Layer: Place the chocolate chips in a large bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan or microwave-safe bowl, and bring the cream to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, stirring until it melts and the mixture is smooth. Set aside 2 tablespoons for the topping. Let the remaining ganache smooth slightly, and pour it into the bottom of the cookie crust. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes, or until firm.
- Peanut Butter Layer: Using an electric mixer, whip the cream to soft peaks. Set aside half of the whipped cream for the topping. Scrape the remaining half of the whipped cream into a medium bowlto use in the filling.
- Using the same mixing bowl (without washing it), cream the cream cheese and peanut butter. Add the condensed milk, and beat until thoroughly blended. Stir in the vanilla. Gently fold the whipped cream reserved for the filling into the peanut butter mixture.
- Spoon the peanut butter filling on top of the chilled ganache, spread evenly, and refrigerate for about 1 hour. (You can refrigerate the pie overnight or up to several days at this point.)
- Topping: Fold the vanilla into the whipped cream you’ve reserved for the topping. Using a spatula or pastry bag, evenly spread or pipe the cream over the pie, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup peanuts.
- Reheat the reserved 2 tablespoons of ganache in the microwave for about 10 seconds, until soft enough to pour. Cool slightly, and drizzle the ganache over the pie. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup peanuts. Chill until ready to serve.
Black Bottom Cookie Crust
Makes one 9-inch crust
- 1 1/2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs (from 6 ounces cookies)
- 1/4 cup ground peanuts (for the Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place cookies in a food processor, and pulse 10 times, then leave the motor running for about 10 seconds, until the crumbs are finely ground.
- In a large bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, ground peanuts, sugar and salt. Pour in the butter, and stir to combine and moisten all the crumbs.
- Spread the mixture in a pie pan, evenly pressing it over the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until slightly firm. Remove from the oven, and cool on a wire rack.