All Sally wanted for her birthday was a peanut butter pie with a non-chocolate crust
(which is rarer than you think). This is Sally’s pie.
For the graham cracker (crust-to-be):
1 + 1/2 + 1/3 cups plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
145 g (about 2/3 cup) butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 tbs honey
1 large egg
To form the crust:
1 batch graham crackers
4 tbs butter
2 tbs whipping cream
For the filling:
1 block (250 g) cream cheese, at room temperature (low-fat works just fine*)
1 cup smooth peanut butter (likewise, ‘light’ is fine*)
1 cup white sugar
1 tbs butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup whipping cream
Crushed peanuts and a bit of white chocolate (to garnish)**
- To make the graham crackers***: Preheat the oven to 175° C.
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl + hand beaters), cream the 145 g butter and brown sugar until fluffy.
- Still mixing, add the honey and egg.
- Turn down the speed and mix in the flour/cinnamon until combined.
- Tip out the dough onto a baking sheet and press it out (yes, just with your fingers is fine) to about 1cm thick all over. You’re going to smash this up to make the crust so it doesn’t need to be pretty. Just not too thin, or it will be too crispy to form non–tooth-shattering crumbs for the crust.
- Prick all over with a fork and bake until golden (but not TOO golden — see above re: too crispy for crumbs).
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray. Leave the oven on!
- To make the pie crust: When cooled, either break the slab of cookie into large chunks and whiz it in a food processor with the butter and cream, or crumble it by hand, adding the butter and cream once you’ve got even-sized crumbs.
- Press out the mixture into a pie tin, pushing firmly into the edges.
- Blind bake until dry and golden. Like this:
Remove from the oven and allow to cool. (For the purpose of structural integrity, leave it in the tin until pie-eating time.)
- To make the filling: In a stand mixer (or large bowl + hand beaters), beat together the cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, butter and vanilla until there are no lumps of cream cheese and the sugar is all dissolved.
- If you’re using a stand mixer, transfer the PB mix into a medium bowl and clean the stand mixer bowl. (Make sure you finish with a rinse in cold water.)
- Whip the cream (stand mixer or large bowl + beaters). Not too much (as always, butter is bad), but you want it to be quite firm (structural integrity!).
- Add the PB mix to the whipped cream and gently fold together with a firm spatula until completely incorporated.
(Cookie, crust, cream, filling.)
- To assemble: Pour the PB cream mixture into the cooled pie crust and smooth with a palette knife. Garnish with crushed peanuts and white chocolate.
Like most pie recipes, if you’re planning to serve this more than 10 metres from your own kitchen, it’s easier (read: less messy) to assemble on arrival.
Instead of filling the crust at home, just wrap the cooled crust (still in the tin) in foil and cling wrap (or stick it in a huge airtight container), and transfer the filling to a largeish container. Store the latter in the fridge (not for more than a day or so).
About 2 hours before pie time, take the filling out of the fridge and leave at room temperature to soften. About an hour later, assemble the pie (step 16), then put the whole thing back into the fridge to set for the last 45 minutes, which should prevent a slow PB landslide when it’s time to cut the pie.
*Even with light cream cheese and peanut butter this thing is a heart-stopper, but feel free to go crazy and use the full-strength stuff.
**Honeycomb would also do nicely. I just happened to have too many obsolete white chocolate Easter bunnies lying around.
***If you can get them, you might as well use store-bought. Or even pre-crumbed crackers! (If that was an option in Sydney, I probably would have.)