One of our favorite desserts for Thanksgiving is Peanut Butter Pie. We’ve tried a lot different recipes, some which require actual cooking of the pie filling, and others which have unusual or overly complex preparations. But after much research, we finally found a good, repeatable recipe, which I have replicated below, with additional comments and minor modifications, including a low-carb option.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
Based for the most part on a recipe from Cooks.com
Pie Crust and Pie Filling:
- A 9″ pie crust (This can be Graham cracker or even a pre-made pie shell, however to make this low-carb if you choose, you could use almond flour or hazelnut flour to make the crust).
- 8 oz. softened cream cheese (regular, don’t use light cream cheese – it’s just wrong to have a “light” cheese of any sort, and you soften it by letting it sit at room temperature for a while, depending on your ambient temperature)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (we use 1 cup of Splenda granulated sugar substitute as a way to cut down on carbohydrates)
- 1 cup peanut butter (we use organic, no-sugar-added chunky peanut butter, but any peanut butter will do)
- 2 tablespoons melted butter (salted butter is fine, but don’t use butter substitute or margarine – you can use your microwave oven to melt the butter, but do it in stages so it doesn’t splatter or get overly hot)
- 1 cup whipping cream (in liquid form, as you use this to make real whipped cream)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (use the real stuff, not fake vanilla)
- 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (we prefer dark or bittersweet chocolate with a high cocoa content (60-72%), or for true low-carb, we also use Godiva’s Sugar Free Dark Chocolate)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons oil (we recommend a nut oil like sunflower oil or peanut oil – do not use olive oil due to the flavor)
- 1/4 (one-quarter) cup of chopped dry roasted, unsalted peanuts
Prepare crust according to favorite recipe (which may involve baking the crust), and then let adjust to room temperature.
Whip cream cheese until fluffy, which is easiest to do with a hand mixer or stand mixer.
Slowly add sugar (or Splenda sugar substitute), peanut butter, and butter. The reason to add this slowly is to ensure even distribution and prevent clouds of sugar.
In another bowl, combine the whipping cream and vanilla extract, and whip until firm. We find that if the bowl for the whipped cream is chilled first, we get better results. An easy way to chill a bowl is to put a cup of crushed ice in the bowl along with a half cup (no need to be exact) of water, and then swish it about until the bowl is nice and cold. Then dump out the ice water and dry the inside of the bowl with a towel before pouring in the whipping cream and vanilla extract.
Blend 1/3 of whipped cream into peanut butter mixture – it’s okay to be rough in for that first third.
Fold the peanut butter mixture into remaining whipped cream (or vice versa – the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture) gently until thoroughly incorporated.
Fill the pie crust, smoothing top. Chill. This will result in a rather firm pie filling.
Once the pie filling is nice and firm, get out a double boiler, fill with a bit of water, and heat the double boiler.
Combine the chocolate, butter, and oil in top of the double boiler until chocolate melts. Cool slightly. Spread chocolate on cooled peanut butter filling. Start at center and work out. Sprinkle top with peanuts, chill pie thoroughly.
The Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie described above may serve 10-12 people if they take small slices. For our family of four, we have found that the pie is so rich that it lasts us at least a couple of days of nibbling.
One additional suggestion for serving would be to make up extra whipped cream to eat with the pie, as it helps balance out the rich flavor and density of the peanut butter filling and chocolate topping. To make the whipped cream, use a 16 oz. container of whipping cream, add one packet of vanilla Splenda and one packet of normal Splenda (or, if you’re into sugar, a table spoon of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract), and whip it up in a chilled bowl as described above.