Monday, February 1, 2010

Peanut Butter Pie - short, dark and rich

Recently, I’ve gone through a phase of cooking from older issues of magazines. The March 2009 issue of delicious is a case in point, and it’s surprising when you look at a recipe afresh – what seemed ordinary just 12 months ago now becomes a must-make-now kind of dish.

And so we come to this Peanut Butter Pie. It’s from Maggie Beer, so I thought it would be a comforting, old-fashioned type of dessert. It is that, and more. It wasn’t till after I’d made the pie that I looked it up on the internet and realised that it is an American favourite. With peanut butter, cream cheese and graham crackers, what else could it be? There are even versions that have it smothered in Cool Whip....

I have to say, though, that this peanut butter pie is best made when you have a few guests – there is no way you could have more than one slice of the pie at a time, it’s that rich. For the filling, I used salted peanut butter because that's all that the supermarket had - it gave the filling an unusual salty taste.  Further, the pie is not very sweet, which somehow makes it even more rich and just a bit cloying.  Try alleviating this with some vanilla ice cream - it makes it much better!

Peanut Butter Pie
serves 16

the crust
180g digestive biscuits (I used 16 Nice biscuits)
90g unsalted butter, melted
3 tsp caster sugar

the filling
1 cup (250ml) pure (thin) cream
1/2 cup (75g) caster sugar
320g cream cheese, chopped, at room temperature
375g crunchy salt-free peanut butter

the topping
150ml thickened cream
150g dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa), chopped
20g unsalted butter

1.  Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
2.  Process biscuits in a food processor until crumbled.  Add sugar and melted butter and pulse to combine, then press into the base of a 22cm springform cake pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Set aside to cool.
3.  For the filling, place the cream and sugar in a saucepan and simmer over low heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring until the sugar dissolves. 
4.  Blend the cream cheese and peanut butter in food processor until combined.  Add the cream mixture and pulse to combine (or mix in by hand).  Spoon the filling on top of the pie crust and leave to cool.
5.  For the topping, bring the cream to just below boiling point in a saucepan over high heat.  Place chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl, then pour over the hot cream.  Leave for 3 minutes without touching. Then gently stir to melt the chocolate and butter into the cream.  Pour the topping over the pie.
6.  Chill the pie in the fridge, uncovered, for 4 hours or longer.
7.  Dust with cocoa before serving very thin slices.

Recipe adapted from delicious (March 2009)

The 3 stages of the crust: crumbs in the cake pan, crumbs smoothed out, crust after baking. I actually left out the sugar in the crust because the Nice biscuits already have sugar on them.
The 3 stages of the filling: peanut butter and cream cheese in food processor, cream and sugar on the simmer, filling poured onto the crust.
The 3 stages of the topping: hot cream poured onto butter and dark chocolate, it's all combined, topping poured onto the filling.
Yes, a small slice would be good.  Hint: A scoop of ice cream (vanilla or butterscotch) really brings out the flavours and lightens the experience.


  1. i find anything with peanut butter needs to be eaten in moderation :) and you're good with going to the back issues for recipes, i've been letting mine pile up (which makes me think why i keep buying more recipe books/mags...hmmmm)

  2. Woahhh, this looks so deliciously indulgent :) Love Maggie Beer, I think I would definitely try this (with a peanut butter substitute of course ;) )

  3. Oh my this sounds divine. I love the sound of a peanut butter pie! I would've thought the saltiness would make it less rich but if you're after American-style peanut butter, I notice they sell it at Aldi. I presume it's sweeter and smoother.

  4. Wowee! It reminds me of Bannoffee pie. Rich and very calorific but absolutely worth every bite! :D

  5. Yum, though I can see how a large slice may be a little much. I like how you used salted peanut butter, even if it was not intentional!

  6. I saw this Maggie Beers' recipe on Delicious magazine but never got around to make it. Thanks for the tips. I would keep this for a party to share.

  7. I'm detecting an awful lot of peanut butter here! But anything in moderation can't be a bad thing, right?!

  8. That looks so indulgently good!

  9. It looks scrumptious! If only I weren't allergic to peanuts! Sigh! :*(

  10. Wow....very rich ingredients. No wonder you said can only eat a small slice. It looks so delicious. I think I can go for a small slice, but a few times :D

  11. Looks irresistibly good! I'll have to make this to share with friends.

  12. Oh I love peanut butter and chocolate together, and I have been wanting to make this pie for ages. The only thing that has put me off is the fact that it looks so rich and indulgent!

  13. Gosh... that looks like a treat. A little indulgence from time to time is alrite ;)

  14. Oh yum - looks too good to be true! I wish I had not gobbled up my peanut butter ration. I need to venture to the grocery store and stock up again.

  15. Oh yum yum yum yum yum yes please! Plus, SO HAPPY to see a peanut cutter choc recipe in Aus!

    I'm definitely making this once I get home post-travelling to my kitchen, but I do beleive I'llopt for the salty pb - love the salt/peanut butter/chocolate combo.

    Or maybe Ill bring back the PB & Co White Chocolate Peanut Butter and use that...

  16. Hi panda – I think we all have that problem of too many magazines and books. It’s surprising how much you forget from year to year, so back issues are good when you’ve finished with the current issues.

    Hi stephcookie – I was trying to think of a substitute – maybe fruit-flavoured cream cheese, like mango or peach? Mmm, mango...

    Hi Helen grab your fork – the saltiness was not salty-salty, more of a neutral-salty, if you know what I mean. I might try Aldi for that US-style PB, though. Thanks for the tip.

    Hi Lorraine – yes, all that cream! I had the same ‘I can’t finish this’ problem with banoffee pie, too!

    Hi Conor – I can’t help wondering what it would have been like with unsalted peanut butter. Not much lighter, methinks!

    Hi Ellie – it would definitely go down well at a party. A bit too much for a just 2 (even though we’re big eaters)

    Hi mlle delicieuse – when you scrape an entire jar of peanut butter into the bowl, it makes you question your fat levels!

    Hi YaYa – glad you approve!

    Hi Reemski – it’s so indulgent that every mouthful is a guilt trip ;)

    Hi Gummi Baby – oh, no, it’s a shame you can’t have nuts. Look on the bright side – you will save yourself from other conditions if you abstain from this pie!

    Hi Anonymous – LOL! I like your self-control – only ‘a few times’!

    Hi MaryMoh – I’m sure your friends will love you even more if you serve this dessert :)

    Hi Agnes – this pie is definitely rich. If you are after peanut butter and chocolate, why not make some choc truffles with PB centres? Less is more!

    Hi Penny aka jeroxie – you’re so right, you have to treat yourself occasionally. I do that by buying magazines!

    Hi Megan @ FeastingonArt – you know, I rarely buy peanut butter except to cook with. But I will order PB toast from a cafe. Strange!

    Hi Hannah – PB with white chocolate sounds interesting! Have you tried it before, and where is it from?

    Hi Betty – thanks, I was well pleased with the way it looked!

  17. WOW! That looks immensely rich but I'm sure it would have tasted divine!!