Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

I might have mentioned before, maybe once or twice, that both of my grandmas were great cooks.  One of the things that my Grandma Souders completely rocked was homemade pies.  You name it, my grandma could make it.  My Aunt Linda has a restaurant, and until the day my grandma passed away, she went in every morning at 4:00 am to make homemade bread, rolls and pies.  And, every Sunday dinner had at least 2 different pies.  I'll take pies over cake any day, so it was heaven!

One of my very favorite types was Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie.  It featured homemade chocolate pudding, a generous helping of peanut butter and mile-high meringue.  It was so rich that you could only have a small piece, but utterly delicious.  Thinking about it makes my mouth water, but even more than that, it makes me miss my grandma.

There is no way that I can replicate that pie.  It would just never be the same or as good, but I have been craving chocolate peanut butter pie so I decided to do my own version.

Here's you Cast of Characters.

3 Eggs, beaten
1 - 8 Oz brick cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 Cup powdered sugar, divided
1/4 Cup cornstarch
1/3 Cup cocoa powder
3 Cups whole milk
1/3 Cup creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 Baked, deep-dish pie crusts
Whipped topping, enough to cover 2 pies about an inch thick

In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar, cornstarch and cocoa.  Slowly whisk milk in, turning heat to medium.

Now, most recipes for pudding tell you that, from this point on, you need to stir continually until it thickens.  I say, "Balderdash!"  Okay, not really.  I've never said that in my life, but you don't need to stand there for 10 or 15 minutes stirring.  That's my point.  As long as you keep the heat at medium, you are fine to stir frequently, making sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and scorch.

While you are waiting for the cocoa mixture to come to a boil, whip cream cheese and remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar together with an electric mixture.

Once it's creamy, add peanut butter and mix thoroughly.

About now, the pudding should be starting to thicken a little.

Once it comes to a full boil, set timer for 2 minutes and stir constantly.

When timer goes off, turn heat to low.  Take a large spoon and slowly whisk a little into the eggs, tempering them, adding a couple of spoonfuls.

Whisk into the pudding, turn heat back to medium and cook for another 2 minutes.

When that is done, remove from heat.  Whisk in butter and vanilla.

Add thickened pudding to cream cheese and peanut butter mixture.  Beat until completely combined.

Put a piece of plastic wrap directly on pudding.  This prevents it from getting the thick skin on top.

Cool in the refrigerator for half an hour.  Remove plastic wrap and divide into pre-baked pie crusts.

Take whipped topping and spread a generous layer over pies.

Place back in the fridge and let it cool completely, and set - about 2 hours.  Unless you're my family, and you just can't wait.  We only let it cool for an hour before we had to dig in.  The reason I'm telling you this is because my finished picture isn't the prettiest.  I cheated and used a store-bought pie crust, which cracked on me.  That's what I get when I don't take the time to make the crust.  Plus, the pudding hadn't set completely.  But, don't let the picture fool you, it tasted wonderful!  A nice blend of chocolate and peanut butter, made silkier by the cream cheese.