Sunday, April 20, 2014

Peanut butter honeycomb pie

I am still in shock that I am now the parent of a 4 year old. How did that happen? Wasn't it just yesterday that I was headed to the hospital? My little girl is definitely opinionated and loves her desserts. One of her favorite things to do is flip through my Bon Appetit magazines and pick out things I need to make for her. She was browsing an issue one day when one of those subscription cards fell out of the magazine. On it, was a photo of a peanut butter honeycomb pie. She stopped what she was doing and yelled, "Mommy! I want you to make this!"

My husband came over to see what Addie was referring to, and he immediately agreed that I had to make this pie. It looked simple enough, and I had all the ingredients. I omitted the honeycomb and salted peanut topping to scale down the calories in this already super-rich pie.

Since I don't eat peanut butter or nuts, I did not taste any of the pie. My husband said that the flavors were great, but the peanut butter custard was too runny for him. He said that it had the consistency of pudding, but he expected something a bit more solid. He noticed that the pie was a bit on the sweeter side, and I am thinking it's due to the sugar that is already in the peanut butter. So, if you like your desserts a tad on the sweet side, follow the recipe below. Otherwise, you can consider omitting or reducing the 6 TBSP of sugar in the filling.

Despite his constructive criticism, my husband still happily ate this pie (and continues to eat it). Take that for what it's worth.

Peanut butter honeycomb pie
Crust
  • 9 graham crackers, coarsely crushed
  • 1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6 TBSP (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Filling
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 12 TBSP sugar, divided
  • 1 and 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 3/4 cup (1 and 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 TBSP powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Topping
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
  • 2 and 1/2 TBSP unsalted butter
  • Optional: 1/4 cup roasted, salted peanuts
Directions
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.

In a food processor or blender, pulse the graham crackers, brown sugar, salt and nutmeg until you achieve fine crumbs. Transfer to a medium sized bowl. Add in the melted butter and mix until the crumbs resemble wet sat. Transfer the crumbs to a 9 or 10 inch pie plate and push the crumbs onto the bottom and sides of the pie plate. You may want to use a spatula or the bottom of a measuring cup to press the crust firmly into the pan.

Bake the crust in your preheated oven for 15 minutes. You won't need the oven again, so turn it off.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed (or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer), mix the egg yolks and 6 Tablespoons of the sugar until ribbons form, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, mix together the milk and remaining 6 Tablespoons of sugar. Split the vanilla bean down the middle and scrape the seeds into the saucepan. Add the empty bean to the saucepan as well. Keep stirring until the sugar has dissolved and allow the mixture to come to a boil.

Turn the mixer back on to low speed and slowly and gently pour the hot milk mixture into the stand mixer bowl with the egg yolks. Once all the milk has been added, turn off the stand mixer and pour the entire mixture back into your medium saucepan. Let the mixture come back to a boil while you whisk constantly.

In the meantime, clean the bowl of your stand mixer - you will need it again in a bit.

Once the mixture in the saucepan comes to a boil, turn off the stove and remove the pan from the heat. Whisk vigorously for about a minute. Then pour the mixture back into the (clean) bowl of your stand mixer (or another large clean bowl if you are using a handheld mixer). Beat the custard on high speed for about 4 minutes or until cool.

While the mixer is still going, add the butter one Tablespoon at a time. Then add the peanut butter, powdered sugar and salt. Keep mixing until the custard is uniform.

Pour the peanut butter custard into the baked pie crust and transfer to your refrigerator. Allow it to cool for at least 2 hours or until the pie is firm.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler or in a microwave. Stir until the chocolate is smooth and no lumps remain. Drizzle on top of your cooled pie. Garnish with peanuts, if desired.

The original recipe included honeycomb pieces, but I omitted it. You can certainly add it or dollop the pie with some freshly whipped cream or ice cream.

Pie will keep in the refrigerator for several days, if it lasts that long.
 
Yield: One 9-inch pie (about 12-16 servings)

Source: Bon Appetit

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