Just a few quick words today on peanut butter pie. I made this for my dad’s birthday, who’s not really big on sweets. I reasoned that peanut butter, with its sweet-salty combo, would be perfect. The pie, however, was quite sweet but not at all badly so. It was impossibly creamy, rich, and addictive and was enjoyed by all–even the nonsweet-tooths among us.
Most recipes I found for peanut butter pie were quite similar. I ended up using a mashup of two different recipes. Of course, as a proper Southerner, I can’t resist using sweetened condensed milk anytime it’s fitting.
Makes one 9-inch pie, serves 10-12
8 ounces chocolate cookies*
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
pinch of salt
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1-14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
about 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, optional (for decorating)
Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350° F. In a food processor, pulse the chocolate cookies until they’re finely ground crumbs; you should have about 2 cups crumbs. Add melted butter and salt, and stir together until the mixture comes together like damp sand. Press the mixture up the sides and across bottom of a 9-inch pie dish in an even layer. Bake until the crust is set, 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
Make the filling: In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the together the softened cream cheese, peanut butter, and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla, and beat again until smooth and creamy.
In a small bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture in 3 batches until completely incorporated. Pour the peanut butter filling into the cooled crust. Chill the pie until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight, until serving.
Before serving, melt the chocolate, if using. Drizzle the chocolate over the pie with a fork in a decorative pattern. Serve and enjoy!
Storing: The pie will keep in the fridge for a few days, about 4.
*The typical recommendation for plain chocolate cookies is Nabisco chocolate wafers, which are difficult (for me) to find. I used chocolate graham crackers instead (9 double-crackers, which was 8 ounces and yielded 2 cups crumbs). I’ve also used chocolate teddy grahams successfully before.