I am a sucker for peanut butter desserts.
I love peanut butter cookies, peanut butter fudge, hot peanut butter poured over ice cream, spicy peanut sauce … you name a culinary application for peanut butter and I most likely love it. So, it should come as no great surprise that, while I found myself whisking a chocolate filling for a chocolate cream pie, I decided to see how I could incorporate peanut butter into a cream pie.
A bit of cursory research found that most peanut butter pie recipes contain whipped topping and cream cheese. That is not what I wanted. I wanted a silky cream pie filling, so I decided to just make my standard vanilla custard and whisk in some peanut butter. I also decided to replace some of the butter in my graham crust with peanut butter. Chocolate whipped cream seemed natural on top, since chocolate and peanut butter have a long standing love affair. Who am I to stand in the way of true love? The pie tastes like eating the best peanut butter cup ever on top of a peanut butter cookie.
Peanut Butter Cream Pie with Chocolate Whipped Cream Serves 8 – 12
For the crust:
1 sleeve of graham crackers
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons peanut butter
3 tablespoons sugar
For the filling:
2 1/2 cups milk, 2% or higher
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons butter
For the whipped cream:
1 pint heavy whipping cream, cold
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder, plus extra for garnish
1 teaspoon dry gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
Heat the oven to 350 F and spray a 9″ pie dish with non-stick spray.
In a food processor add the graham crackers and pulse until they form rough crumbs, about 20 pulses. Pour in the melted butter, peanut butter, and sugar. Process until well blended and the crumbs are all coated. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie dish and press the crumbs into the dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool completely.
In a medium sauce pan whisk together the milk, egg, sugar, and cornstarch. Place the pan over medium heat and whisk until the mixture starts to get warm. Add the peanut butter and whisk the mixture until it thickens and starts to simmer.
Turn off the heat and add the vanilla and butter. Whisk until completely incorporated. Pour the mixture through a strainer then into the prepared crust. Smooth the top so the filling is even then lay a piece of plastic wrap directly on top. Chill for four hours, or overnight.
When you are ready to serve prepare the whipped cream. Pour the gelatin into the cold water and allow to stand for five minutes, or until completely bloomed. Heat for five seconds in the microwave, making sure it is melted, and cool to room temperature. Pour the cold cream into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Whisk on medium low speed until the sugar and cocoa are blended in then increase the speed to medium high. When the cream is softly whipped pour in the cooled gelatin. Whip until the cream forms medium peaks. Spread on top of the chilled pie.