Chocolate, dark chocolate, is my passion. I’m constantly in search of the perfect chocolate dessert…one that isn’t too sweet but that’s loaded with rich, dark chocolate. In the new issue of Bon Appetite a recipe for a peanut butter pie caught my attention. Hmmm, could it be similar to the delicious flavors of a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup? I changed up a few of the ingredients and topped mine with a dark chocolate ganache. Served ice-cold this pie is quite delicious. A little goes a long way as it’s very rich.
Put the chocolate wafers and peanuts in a food processor and pulse until they resemble course crumbs. Pour into a bowl and add the melted butter. Mix and mold into a buttered 9 inch pie pan. Place in a preheated 325 degree oven for ten minutes. Remove and let cool.
Mix the egg yolks and 6T of sugar at high speed until ribbons form. If you have a stand mixer this process will be much easier. In a large saucepan combine the milk, half and half and 6T of sugar and the vanilla – stir till boiling. While your mixer is on, gradually add the hot milk mixture to the egg yolk mixture. When combined scrape the mixture back into the pan and clean the bowl. Whisk mixture constantly and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and whisk for about a minute. Pour custard back into mixing bowl and beat on high speed until mixture cools. Mix in butter one tablespoon at a time. Add peanut butter, powdered sugar and salt. Mix until blended. I always taste at this point checking for saltiness, enough peanut butter flavor, etc. Next, pour into the cooled pie crust. Sprinkle sea salt on top of filling. Refrigerate for about two hours before adding ganache icing.
*A note about the vanilla. This is a fabulous product I discovered while working with Royal Chef Darren McGrady (Princess Di’s chef). It is a thick liquid almost gel-like and is chockfull of vanilla bean seeds.
Chop chocolate into small pieces. Heat cream until almost boiling…watch for bubbles around the edges. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let set a few minutes. Then, stir until combined. Let cool but stir occasionally. Pour over the top of the pie and refrigerate a couple of more hours before serving. You can also sprinkle salted crushed peanuts on top if you like.