Thursday, May 20, 2010

Peanut Butter Silk Pie

I've been on a mousse kick lately, and I was looking for ways to serve them beyond in chocolate boxes and tulips (more on that later). With a large jar of peanut butter to use up, this seemed a perfect solution. I've had this dessert, or things like it, in a lot of chain restaurants, and wanted to address a few of my contentions with it. The chocolate ganache should NOT be hard...what's the point of pie if you can't cut into it? The mousse needs to be light and peanut buttery, without being overly rich.

Unfortunately I'm not much of one for measuring, so I can only give you ingredients and technique...but that's half the fun!

Graham crackers/nilla wafers/other crushable sweet thing (although I've used panko + sugar in a pinch; shockingly, it makes a great crumb crust!)
Butter/margarine, extremely soft (but not melted)

Using a wine bottle, rolling pin, or physics textbook, annihilate the crumbs. The finer, the better. Mush together with the butter and press into your pie pan. Be sure to get up the sides. Wrapping another pie pan in cling wrap and pressing it onto the crust pile works well. Bake just until browned; let cool.

Chocolate chips/shavings from a leftover chocolate bunny (definitely what I used)...I like dark or semi-sweet for this, but go by your own preference.
Butter/margarine (just a sliver to help it melt)
Half and half or cream

Melt chocolate in a double boiler with a dab of butter. Whisking constantly, add enough cream to make it pourable (shouldn't be more than 1/4 cup). Pour over cooled crust, reserving a few tablespoons. Refrigerate while you do the next step.

Melt some peanut butter in the microwave or on the stove, roughly a half cup for every pint of cream. Plunge pan into a bowl of water to cool rapidly. Stir to prevent clumping.

Start whipping your VERY COLD HEAVY/DOUBLE CREAM in an electric mixer just unto the point of stiff peaks. With a large spatula, fold a small amount of cream into the peanut butter to lighten it, then fold this into the cream. Layer the mousse on top of the ganache, spreading lightly to avoid mixing.

Decorate with whipped cream, melted peanut butter, reserved ganache, peanut butter cups, chocolate shavings, or whatever else you desire!

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