Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

A Special Note on August 12, 2011

Life is fragile, life is precious, life is precarious. We all know this, we all experience it, we all, too often, live this. And yet, and yet. Some times life's fragility strikes close to home -- even when it really isn't.

For me, the life lesson hit twice this week, first when my friend Janet buried her granddaughter in a casket just twenty-four -- aiii, twenty-four -- inches long. And then again, with the sudden and unexpected death of a young husband and father, "Mikey" as wife and food blogger Jennifer Perillo of In Jennie's Kitchen called him.

Those of you who follow food bloggers will see lots of peanut butter pies appearing today. That's because Jennie invited us to make pies in her husband's memory. You see, she'd been meaning to make him his favorite pie, "Tomorrow", she'd think, "Or on the weekend." But she never got to it and suddenly, it was too late.

And so today I invite you too to make a peanut butter pie, perhaps my favorite Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, below. But if you're like me, you'll make a metaphorical peanut butter pie --- instead choosing the act, the words, the hug, the call, the visit, whatever it is that you've been thinking, "Tomorrow".

Instead, make it today, won't you? Because life is fragile.

Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Anyone who loves Reese's peanut butter cups will love this easy-easy pie recipe. It's a creamy concoction, with just a hint of peanut butter and a drizzle of chocolate. Serve it creamy-cold and slim slivers will evoke small moans of appreciation.

My dad loves pie. His favorites are of the creamy variety, banana cream pie, Lemon Meringue Pie, chocolate cream pie.

He loves pie so much that he even wants a slice or two left over because that’s what he’ll have for breakfast.

One year, I filled his Christmas stocking with a rolling pin, a couple of pie plates and the 1965 Farm Journal’s Complete Pie Cookbook. “What do you expect me to do with these?” he asked, looking perplexed. “Eat the pies I make for you when I visit,” I answered. He looked at my mom, who didn’t consider herself much of a pie maker, and grinned.

Thus originated our pie-a-day tradition. Even allowing for breakfast leftovers, we couldn’t eat whole pies ourselves so my folks took to inviting friends for pie and coffee each evening. Word got ‘round and Dad started taking requests. Rhubarb custard pie. Blueberry Sour Cream Pie. Raspberry pie. Apple Pie. Fresh Peach Pie.

The pie remembered most, luckily with at least rueful laughter, is a date-oatmeal pie, a sticky-sweet, disgusting concoction forever banished to the waste bin.

Still, it’s no wonder Dad’s face lights up when I step off the plane: visions of pie!

ALANNA's TIPS Crush the graham crackers in a freezer bag. You can use your hands but a rolling pin is faster and makes smaller crumbs. A standard tart pan works fine but the slices may break up a bit when being removed; prevent this by lightly greasing the pan before forming the crust. To create an even crust, use a spoon back to press the crumb mix into the pan. The trick to this pie is in the chocolate: it tastes better swirled in but looks better drizzled on top; this is why the instructions specify both, the way to both separate and blend two distinct flavors.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Become a Kitchen Parade fan on Facebook!

FROZEN CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER PIE

Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Freezer time: Minimum 1 hour
Serves 10
    GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
  • 3/4 cup chocolate or plain graham cracker crumbs (about 6 crackers or 90g)
  • 1/4 cup (60g) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 4 tablespoons) butter, melted
    FILLING
  • 1/4 cup (60g) sugar
  • 4 ounces (113g) reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
  • 1/2 cup (140g) reduced-fat peanut butter
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3/4 cup (175ml) whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ounce (30g) semi-sweet chocolate, melted

CRUST Combine crust ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Transfer to a 10” tart pan with a removable bottom and press evenly onto bottom and sides. Place in freezer while making filling.

FILLING With an electric mixer, cream sugar, cream cheese, peanut butter and vanilla until smooth in a medium mixing bowl. Separately, whip cream and cinnamon until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream gently into peanut butter mixture. Spoon about 2/3 of filling over crust. With the back of a spoon, spread mixture evenly without disturbing the crust.

Drizzle half the melted chocolate over filling. With the tines of a fork, swirl chocolate into filling. Spoon remaining filling over top and spread evenly. Drizzle with remaining chocolate.

FREEZE Freeze at least 1 hour, preferably longer.

TO SERVE Cut and transfer slices to plates while frozen. Soften slightly before serving, about 10 minutes.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Slice: 237 Calories; 13g Tot Fat; 8g Sat Fat; 33mg Cholesterol; 90mg Sodium; 24g Carb; 1g Fiber; 6g Protein; Weight Watchers Old Points 5.5, PointsPlus 6 This recipe has been 'Alanna-sized' with lower-calorie ingredients and no-calorie spices.
This recipe was first published in print in 2003 and published online for the first time in 2010. It was republished in 2011.

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That looks incredible. The only way I could possibly it could possibly be better is by adding some banana .... pb + chocolate + banana = heaven!
 
What a great tradition -gathering for pie and coffee. I can just picture the neighbors giving your father requests for their favorite pie. I like the sound of this pie also. Most of the ones that I have had a recipe for are too rich with a lot of cream cheese and peanut butter. I will definitely try this. Thanks so much for posting it -and the little story about your family and the pies.
AtlantaPat
 
Happy pi(e) day! I'm a math grad student and my department had a pi day potluck today. I was quite excited to discover this, but was slightly miffed when I was asked to bring something savory (it makes sense to have savory food, but I love to bake pies!). I ended up compromising and taking quiche. There are pictures on my blog (linked in my name) if you are interested :-)

What prompted me to actually comment (instead of lurking as usual) is that your link for the Finnish Fruit Tart after the recipe currently goes to the .jpg rather than the recipe page. I found the recipe page via search and it sounds glorious (and your accompanying story sounds like me with my host mom during the semester I spent in Budapest!), but I thought it might be useful to point out that the current link isn't particularly helpful :-).
 
A delicious choice for Pi Day. My family adores peanut butter pie, but it is often very rich and I can only eat a tiny sliver or my sweet tooth goes into shock.
 
Jessica ~ Great idea! Next time I'll slip in a layer of banana!

AtlantaPat ~ Glad you like the story and the recipe. Making a pie every day, it's part of the family lore.

Sarah ~ What a(n extra) great day to be a mathematician! Your quiche are just beautiful, love adding the pastry 'pi' symbol you added to the tops. Thanks for info on the bad link, it's fixed now.

Andrea ~ This is plenty rich, even with lower-fat ingredients and just a little sugar. A sliver of a slice, that's the key! But I don't think it'll make anyone's teeth hurt!
 
I have to thank you! I have enjoyed so many of your recipes, they have been delightful, but this pie may be the best! I needed to make a birthday worth treat for a get together and had just received this recipe. I trusted that this would be good to serve untasted and WOW - I was right! My 5 year old nephew and I made this together - and the recipe is soo simple that he really could be a big help! Everyone LOVED this and my nephew wants to make some more!

Thank you!!
 
I've read this story everywhere this morning. It's amazing how tightly knit the blogging community becomes and how everyone looks out for each other. Such a sad story and leaving behind two small children as well.

I have a packed day but hope to be able to make the peanut butter pie her husband loves.

Very nice post Alanna!
 
I can't believe this was your post today. Just yesterday, for no reason, I bought my husband a "I think you're neat" card and left it on his steering wheel today - just because!

I'll have to make a metaphorical pie, it's not on the diet at this time. Thanx for the reminder!
 
Ok this looks good.
 
Thank you for sharing this heartfelt story and reminding us not to put off until tomorrow. My deepest sympathy to all.
 
Thank you for posting this. It touched me....
 
That was so sad and so beautiful. Thanks for the reminder.
 
I am but one of your many readers. Today my heart broke for your losses. I was going to send a note then did not. However, the email right after yours, was from my local PBS station. The dessert they offered ... peanut butter pie ... I had to send. You are in my thoughts.
 
I already had plans to make peanut butter pie tomorrow night to bring to a pot luck on Wednesday. My recipe is very similar to the one posted, except it is not frozen and is covered in ganache.

When my son was eating a slice of blueberry pie Sunday morning, I told him I believe in pie for breakfast. He is 15 and had never heard me say that before.
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna