Tuesday, June 2, 2015
When I lived in Battle Creek, Michigan, a summer destination was The Turkey Farm, a restaurant in the country that served various kinds of turkey dishes made from the birds raised on the premises. But my favorite item on the menu was the peanut butter pie, a dessert that I had never heard of before going there but one that I quickly became fond of.
Over the years I found various recipes but never any that I really liked all that much. But that changed when a family friend, Marjean, brought her version to my dad's memorial service. (Yes, we are all about food in my family and when my dad died, we did all the cooking for the guests who showed up at the service.)
The taste and the texture were almost perfect...
One thing that I find boring is a graham cracker crust. Easy to make and done to death, it shows up in places where it should never have been invited. And store-bought ones are the worst offenders unless you call a box of Jello pudding and a carton of Cool Whip baking..... I don't. But I did like the recipe and thought it deserved something better than graham crackers and butter so I went online and in no time at all was greatly rewarded for the small effort.
Anyone who worships desserts knows that Rose Levy Barenbaum is the queen of tarts. Her strawberry cheese cake, which calls for lady fingers instead of the graham cracker crust, is a fluffy taste of heaven in each bite. So, when looking for a peanut butter crust for this pie and coming across her recipe, I knew I was in for a scrumptious treat and I wasn't disappointed!
Marjean's Peanut Butter Pie
6oz Philadelphia cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 pint whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
Chopped roasted peanuts for garnish
Tart pan with removable bottom
1 recipe peanut butter pie crust (see below)
Add sugar to whipping cream and whip until firm peaks are formed. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar and peanut butter until fluffy. Add the milk and beat until well incorporated.
Fold in the reserved whipped cream and pour into prepared crust.
Garnish with chopped peanuts and freeze until solid.
1/2 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 large beaten egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor using the metal blade, process the brown and granulated sugars until they are powdered.
With the motor running, add the butter cubes. After, add the peanut butter and process until creamy. With the motor running, add the egg and vanilla extract and process until incorporated.
Scrap down the sides of the bowl and add the flour, pulsing until just incorporated.
Remove the dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Press the dough into the bottom and sides of a tart pan with a removable bottom.
Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Bake in a preheated 375° F oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove and allow to cool.
Remove baked shell from tart pan.