When I heard that November was National Peanut Butter Lovers Month, I saw this as my excuse to search through all of the recipes in my path that included peanut butter as the main ingredient. Lo and behold, I found the Holy Grail of peanut butter recipes: Creamy Peanut Butter Cup Pie from The Old Farmer’s Almanac Comfort Food cookbook.
Now, I’ll have you know that I am one of these people who will shy away from any recipe that takes longer than an hour or requires more than three steps. This recipe, while fairly simple to make, requires some time and patience. But who can resist that description? Creamy. Peanut. Butter. Cup. Pie. It just had to happen.
This recipe has essentially two steps to it. You have to make the crust first, which is a separate recipe. I considered cheating and buying a ready-made crust, but something told me not to. Boy, am I glad I didn’t! The Nut Crumb Crust is the best part of the pie. Well, next to the filling. Actually, the crumbled peanut butter cups are the best part. Wait, then there is the drizzled chocolate …
OK, the whole pie is one deliciously decadent piece of peanut butter chocolate heaven, but trust me when I say that you NEED to make the Nut Crumb Crust. It calls for graham cracker crumbs, but I decided to use Nutter Butters, because … well … why not? I just scraped off the cream and put them in the food processor. Bam! Crumbs!
This pie is one of the best I’ve ever tasted. Skip the pumpkin and apple pies this Thanksgiving and serve this to your guests. They’ll be talking about it for years!
Creamy Peanut Butter Cup Pie (page 260 of Comfort Food)
Nut Crumb Crust (page 262)
¾ cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts (or use unroasted almonds, walnuts, or pecans)
2½ tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
¼ teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
• Lightly butter a 9½-inch deep-dish pie plate.
• Combine the nuts, sugar, flour, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are finely ground.
• Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the graham cracker crumbs and whisk to blend.
• In a small bowl, combine the vanilla and melted butter. Add to the crumbs and mix well. Add 2 teaspoons of water to the crumb mixture, then rub with your fingers until it is uniform and clumpy.
• Transfer the mixture to the pie plate. Press it evenly across the bottom and most of the way up the sides. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
• Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake on the center oven rack for 8 minutes.
• Transfer to a cooling rack.
Makes one 9½-inch deep-dish piecrust.
Pie Filling: 12 ounces cream cheese (not lowfat or whipped), softened
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1¼ cups sugar
3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
½ cup sour cream
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup finely chopped roasted peanuts (or other)
Pie Topping: ½ cup heavy or whipping cream
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
10 full-size peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped
• Preheat the oven to 325°F.
• Combine the cream cheese and peanut butter in a large bowl and, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat for 2 minutes, or until smooth. Add the sugar gradually, beating and scraping the bowl. Add the eggs and yolk, one at a time, and beat after each until evenly mixed. Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat until blended. Add the chopped nuts and stir. Scrape the filling into the piecrust and smooth the top.
• Bake the pie on the center oven rack for 50 minutes, or until the filling is puffed slightly and wobbly but not runny. The center will be shiny; the edges will have a dull appearance.
• Transfer to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly. Cover with tented aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.
• Heat the cream in a small saucepan over low heat until the surface shimmers. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Let rest for 5 minutes, then whisk to blend. As the chocolate cools, it will start to thicken. When it has a little body, drizzle half over the filling. Randomly place chopped peanut butter cups on top, then drizzle with the remaining chocolate. Refrigerate, uncovered, until serving. Cover with tented aluminum foil and refrigerate after serving.
Makes 10 to 12 servings.
Want more delicious baking or anytime ideas? Get your copy of the Comfort Food cookbook today!
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