Tuesday, August 31, 2010

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie, Part 2

Yesterday was another scorcher here in Chicago, then my air conditioner up and died, just days after the warranty expired, grrr....

So I went into the kitchen and ground up some cookies, melted some butter and chocolate, whipped some cream and voila! Dessert makes a bad day better, especially when there's peanut butter involved.

This is my second attempt at peanut butter pie, you can see the first one here. I had to return Baked to the library today, so I decided to try their version.

The mousse filling is delicious, I added just a bit of salt and tasted that wonderful rich peanutty sweet/salty combination. The crust sounded great, I mean adding a layer of chocolate between the crust and filling, genius right? Well, the pie is served frozen,  and the crust/chocolate layer, while yummy, was rock hard. After freezing the pie overnight, I transferred it to the refrigerator, and I preferred it in a non-frozen state. Frozen, its like an excellent semifreddo, while refrigerated, its more of a dense mousse.

I elected not to make the hot fudge topping this time, I just crushed some more cookies and sprinkled them on top. So next time, I may combine the Emeril crust with this filling, and make a milk chocolate ganache for the top.

 Peanut Butter Pie with Cookie Crust and Easy Hot Fudge Sauce
adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking

For the chocolate cookie crust:
30 chocolate wafer cookies (about 6 ounces)*
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the peanut butter filling with chocolate bottom:
½ cup (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
½ teaspoon light corn syrup
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Jif)
small pinch of salt
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1½ cups heavy cream
For the easy hot fudge sauce: (which I haven't yet made)
6 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
6 ounces dark chocolate (64% cacao), finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup light corn syrup

Chocolate cookie crust:
1)  In a food processor, grind the cookies to a very fine powder. You should have about 1½ cups. Add the sugar and pulse a few times to mix. Pour the butter over the crumb mixture and pulse again until well combined.

2)  Turn the crumb mixture out into a 9-inch pie plate and press it into the bottom and up the sides. You can use the back of a large spoon and/or a ¼-cup measuring cup to press and even out the crust.

3) Put the crust in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

Peanut butter filling with chocolate bottom
1) Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave oven or in a double boiler. Add the corn syrup and stir to combine. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate in a thin layer on the bottom of the chilled pie crust. Put the crust back in the refrigerator while you make the peanut butter filling.

2) Put the cream cheese, peanut butter, salt, vanilla, and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until well combined and completely smooth. Set aside.

3) In a clean bowl, use the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to whip the cream until soft peaks form. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, with a rubber spatula, mix 2 big dollops of whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture. Then, gently fold the remaining whipped cream into the peanut butter until the mixture is uniform in color.

4) Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and freeze for at least 4 hours. Once the pie is frozen, you can cover it with aluminum foil and freeze for up to 3 days. Or, transfer to the refrigerator, the filling will be softer and the crust a bit easier to slice.

Easy hot fudge sauce
1) Place both chocolates in a medium heatproof bowl and set aside. 2) In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat. Add the corn syrup and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolates. Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes. Starting in the center of the bowl and working your way out to the edges, whisk the chocolate mixture in a circle until completely smooth. The hot fudge sauce, cooled to room temperature and covered tightly, will keep for 3 days in the refrigerator. Rewarm the sauce in a microwave oven on medium heat for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat until the sauce is warm; or reheat it in a small saucepan over low heat.

To serve, place a frozen piece of pie on a large serving plate and spoon 3 heaping tablespoons of the warm sauce directly over the top of the pie. Eat and enjoy immediately.

*The authors recommend Nabisco chocolate wafers , I used a combination of chocolate digestive biscuits and Oreos, so use what you like by weight, or to make 1½ cups of crumbs.

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