You’re invited to a cookout. You want to bring something, but what? You could pick something up at the local supermarket. I find those foods sort of sit because people want to try the homemade stuff first. But you are busy, right? No time for homemade. Or, maybe your cooking skills just aren’t up to where you would like them to be.
You want to take something that will be the talk of the picnic. You want to be fawned over. I get it. Who doesn’t? No one wants to be potato salad #3 at a picnic with 5 different types of potato salad.
So, I offer the following dessert: Peanut Butter Cream Pie. Why? Because, frankly, fruit desserts just aren’t my thing, with the exception of apple pie. Peanut Butter Cream Pie combines some of my favorite ingredients: cream, sugar and peanut butter. What’s not to love? It’s not like Chocolate Cream Pie, so don’t be worried about whether the pie will “set” or if you will need to serve it in bowls. If you have a mixer and a freezer, you can totally make this dessert. It’s that easy. I found this dessert years ago in New Orleans at Emeril’s. He put the recipe for it in his cookbooks and now, on his webpage. The pie is crazy easy. Combine peanut butter, cream cheese, confectioner’s (powdered or 10x) sugar and whipped cream. Pour into crumb crust. Freeze. Done. Seriously. If you want to be fancy, melt some chocolate and stripe the top of the pie.
Some caveats. This is a really rich pie, so cut the slices small. You will want to cut a hunk of pie off and eat it. Don’t. You can’t. My 10 year old son who grows 6 inches a year tried and couldn’t. Also, you need to not just like peanut butter, you need to love it.
Now, I mentioned that I was inspired by Emeril to make this recipe, and I was, but this recipe is inspired by Martha Stewart. Why? Well, Emeril called for 4 cups of cream and Martha 2. I had 2. So, the winner was Martha! Her original recipe can be found here: http://www.marthastewart.com/258413/chocolate-peanut-butter-pie
My deviations are the crust and the amount of peanut butter. I looked at a pre-made graham cracker crust, but that had trans fats. So, I was resigned to the fact that I was going to have to make a crust. I thought chocolate wafer crust would be the best, but the thought of taking the middles out of a ton of oreos made me weep. Luckily, on my travels to three different grocery stores (can’t 1 just have everything I need?), I found an oreo cookie crust with no trans fat or other terribly nasty ingredients, so I went with it. As a result, that last minute find made this recipe super easy and fast. I reduced the peanut butter by 1/4 cup just to bring a little more balance to the pie.
Peanut Butter Cream Pie
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
6 ounces of cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar (sifted)
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream
1 oreo pie crust
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, melted, for decorating
Cream together the cream cheese, sugar and salt, until well combined and “fluffy”. Add the peanut butter and vanilla and beat until combined. In a separate mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Loosen the peanut butter mixture by folding in about a third of the whipped cream. Add the rest of the cream to the peanut butter mixture and, using a mixer with a whip attachment, whip until well combined.
Pour peanut butter mixture into oreo pie crust and freeze for about 2 hours. Place melted chocolate in a freezer bag and snip a small opening on a corner of the bag. Drizzle chocolate on the pie and serve.