It's no secret that I am a rather lazy baker. When I do make the effort to bake, it is mostly for other people’s enjoyment, not necessarily my own. The first thing I baked all on my own was a pan of brownies when I was 9 years old. I am not sure why I made them considering I never really liked them that much, but that one pan of brownies changed my life forever.
I remember that day clearly: my father came home from work and noticed the brownies I had made. He was almost shocked to see them, as we rarely had desserts around except for special occasions. When he realized it was me who had made them, he was so impressed at what I had done and that made me proud. When he tasted them, his eyes lit up and he smiled from ear to ear; these simple brownies made him so happy. I will never forget the look on his face, and I suppose the main reason I cook now is to see those happy faces.
During these difficult times, I have been baking more than normal. Bringing a little smile to others' faces feels especially good these days. It was my neighbor and dear friend Cristina’s birthday last week so I wanted make her favorite dessert for her: peanut butter pie!
This recipe has just a few simple ingredients and does not require a ton of technique to make. I used my regular pie crust recipe because Cristina really loves it, but using a chocolate cookie or graham cracker crust would make this recipe that much simpler and equally delicious.
Peanut Butter Pie
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
For the pie crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup shortening, chilled
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 pinch of salt
1/3 cup water, ice cold
For instructions on how to prepare and roll the pie dough, watch my video.
Chill the pie dough overnight.
You will use half of the pie dough for this recipe, so freeze the other half for later use. Roll the pie dough and place in a 9-inch pie dish and crimp the edges. Prick the bottom crust with a fork and line with aluminum foil or parchment paper.
Fill the foil lined pie crust with pie weights if you have them, if not you can use dried beans or coins. Yes, I said coins. If you have spare change like pennies and nickels lying around they work great since the metals conduct heat nicely, just be sure to wash them first. The weights will help to keep the dough from shrinking and bubbling up. I chill the pie dough with foil, weights and all for at least 30 minutes. The chilled dough shrinks less.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and bake the crust for 45 minutes or until lightly brown.
For the peanut butter filling:
2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup of creamy peanut butter
Pinch of salt
Beat the cream, powdered sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until it is thick and stiff. Once the cream starts to thicken up, watch it closely, what you are looking for is when the cream just starts to lose its sheen. Cream is very glossy and shiny before it is done, the second it starts to look dull, I know it is done. Set the cream aside in the refrigerator.
Beat cream cheese, peanut butter and salt until well combined with a stand or hand mixer.
Fold in half of the whipped cream. Reserve the other half for the top of the pie.
Place the peanut butter filling in the cool pie shell and top with the whipped cream. Cristina does not like chocolate in her peanut butter pie because she believes the chocolate competes with the peanut butter. If you like the combination, then feel free to garnish your peanut butter pie with chocolate shavings or crumbled peanut butter cups. I used crushed Snickerdoodle cookies. You know I must really love Cristina to make a batch of cookies just to crumble on the top of her pie!
Whether you make cookies, cakes, or fried chicken, considering sharing it with those you love or those in need right now. We have built our business on the idea that cooking is a way to build community and it is heartwarming to see that happening all around us during these difficult times.
We want to thank you for your overwhelmingly positive response to our virtual cooking classes. It has been amazing to see so many of you and connect with you in a new way. Seeing all your faces and hearing your questions gives us a sense of normalcy. We look forward to seeing you soon in one of our upcoming virtual classes. Until then, happy cooking!