Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie


A few weeks ago, I made a chocolate peanut butter pie as a gift for a friend’s birthday.  I browsed a few chocolate pie recipes and peanut butter pie recipes with the aim of mashing the two together into some kind of sublime, chocolately, peanut buttery heaven.  It turned out pretty well.  The pie set and maintained its shape (for the most part), but I did think it was too sweet.  I should’ve halved (at the very least) the sugar.  I forgot that Oreo cookies and peanut butter chips already have sugar.

If you like very sweet desserts, then this is a pie for you.  If, like me, you tend to gravitate toward the salty and savory (mmm, salt…), then take the sugar out altogether.  Also, on my next run, I am not using Oreo cookies as a crust (as America’s Test Kitchen suggests).  Oh my goodness… gross.  I used to love those chocolate cookies (did you know that’s what they’re advertised as?), but now they’re loaded with high fructose corn syrup and they taste like... ugh. 

Here is my first whack at this recipe, with my recommended alterations (using graham crackers for the crust, and nixing the sugar). 

For crust
1 1/2 cups graham crackers, crushed
5 Tbsp butter, melted

2 1/2 cups half and half
Pinch salt
2 Tbsp. tapioca starch
6 egg yolks
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, chopped up, room temperature 
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (Hershey’s is actually pretty good)
1 cup peanut butter chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. 
Place graham crackers in a big plastic zip up bag and roll over it with a rolling pin (I use a wine bottle as my rolling pin).  Once good and crushed, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter in a bowl. Flatten and spread evenly over bottom and sides of a nonstick 9" pie pan and bake 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on the counter.  You can use a wire rack or a couple of chopsticks, as I do (see picture above).

1. Place yolks in medium bowl and beat until combined.
2. In a heavy medium saucepan, add tapioca starch and salt. Whisk in half and half. Bring mixture to boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute.
3. Whisk half of the heated mixture into yolks and beat. Pour yolk mixture into saucepan. Boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla (this is the custard).
4. Place chocolate powder in medium bowl. Add hot custard and stir until chocolate mixture is smooth.
5. Spread half of the chocolate mixture evenly into prepared crust.  Sprinkle the chocolate mixture with peanut butter chips.  Cover with the remaining chocolate custard.
. Place plastic wrap on top of the pie to prevent skin from forming.  Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.)

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