PEANUT BUTTER CREAM PIE
by Renee Behnke and Cynthia Nims
This simple pie is perfect for the little kid in all of us. Plan ahead, as it needs to refrigerate for a few hours before serving. Use a top-quality peanut butter for this recipe, preferably natural style, which has the best peanut flavor.
Makes 12 to 16 Servings
• 1½ cups top-quality peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
• 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
• 1¼ cups sugar
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• 2½ cups whipping cream
• 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
• Chocolate curls, for serving (see below)
• Chocolate fudge sauce, for serving
GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
• 1½ cups fine graham cracker crumbs
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• 1/4 cup sugar
1. For the graham cracker crust, preheat the oven to 375°F. Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar in a medium bowl until well blended. Press the crumbs evenly onto the bottom and up the side of a 9- or 10-inch pie pan. Bake the crust for 6 to 8 minutes, until lightly browned. Set aside to cool completely.
2. Cream together the peanut butter, cream cheese, sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Whip 1½ cups of the whipping cream in another bowl until soft peaks form, then whip in the vanilla extract. Fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture in 3 or 4 batches. Pour the filling into the cooled pie shell. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours or overnight.
3. Just before serving, whip the remaining 1 cup whipping cream until soft peaks form. Cut the chilled pie into individual pieces and top each piece with a generous dollop of whipped cream. Finish with a sprinkle of chocolate curls and/or a drizzle of fudge sauce.
Making Chocolate Curls: They look fancy—and I suppose they kind of are—but chocolate curls are a snap to make and add easy flair to any number of desserts. Choose a piece of top-quality chocolate that's at least 3/4 inch thick. Scrape a vegetable peeler down the length of the side of the chocolate bar, allowing the curls to fall onto a plate or piece of parchment paper. Try not to handle the curls too much, or they may melt from the heat of your fingers You can scatter them directly from the plate or paper onto the pie. The curls can be made up to a day in advance and stored in an airtight container,
Do-Ahead Tips: This pie is great for entertaining, since it can be made up to 24 hours m advance It's best to make the pie the morning of your dinner at the latest so it will have plenty of time to set Then you'll have only to whip the cream, cut the pie, and garnish before serving.