Would you believe that I didn’t own a food processor until recently? 500+ recipes I’ve made and blogged about over the past 3 years, and yet I didn’t have this kitchen appliance. I thought about getting one from time to time, but I continued to put off the purchase. I finally read enough recipes that I needed a food processor for, so I took some gift cards and took the plunge, buying a 14-cup Kitchenaid model. I think it’s the most expensive thing I’ve ever bought for my kitchen myself.
I haven’t done much with the food processor yet; I made hot chocolate mix and sliced vegetables for salad, but that’s about it. One of the things I planned to use it for was making homemade almond and peanut butter at some point. So of course when I saw Alton Brown make peanut butter, and then Peanut Butter Pie, I could hardly wait to use the recipe to test my new food processor.
First, I used the machine to make a crust for the pie. I took 6.5 ounces of chocolate animal crackers and ground them with a little sugar until finely ground. I drizzled in 6 tablespoons of melted butter while running the machine. I pressed the moist crumbs along the bottom and sides of my glass pie pan, and baked the crust for 10 minutes at 350F.
While the crust cooled completely, I made the peanut butter and filling. I took 15 ounces of peanuts (almost all of a jar) and ground them with honey and salt for 1 minute. I scraped down the sides of the bowl, and then drizzled in some vegetable oil while the machine ran. (I would have used peanut oil if I’d had any.) I ground the peanut butter for 2 minutes, until it was creamy. (It was fun to watch it come together!)
I added 4 tablespoons of butter to the peanut butter and processed the mixture for a minute. I added powdered sugar and vanilla and processed for another 2 minutes, until the mixture was creamy and smooth. I spread the peanut butter filling into the cooled pie shell and smoothed it out. (The filling will retain the shape you leave it in, so try not to leave ridges or peaks.) I baked the pie for 10 minutes.
While the filling cooled, I made chocolate ganache to top it with. I heated 5 tablespoons of cream briefly in the microwave and added chopped chocolate to it to soften. After a few minutes, I stirred it to melt the chocolate. Some of the pieces were too big, so I returned it to the microwave for a few seconds to finish melting the chocolate.
I smoothed the ganache over the top of the pie. I let the pie cool briefly, and then placed it in the fridge for it to chill. A couple of hours later, we eagerly cut into the pie.
When we made the pie, we wondered why it was called Peanut Butter Pie and not Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie. It was easy to understand once we ate a few bites. The chocolate was barely noticeable in the bites – the pie was overwhelmingly peanut butter. Not that it’s a bad thing. The chocolate gave a little contrast to highlight the peanut butter, but wasn’t particularly noticeable in general. The pie was very rich – an 8th of a pie was 650 calories! – so we cut it into slightly more manageable 12ths.
It would have been cheaper to use store-bought peanut butter to make the pie, but that would have made it incredibly sweet, since peanut butter usually has a lot of sugar added to it already. I thought it was a great pie with plain unsalted peanuts but I can imagine it would shine if you had Spanish peanuts, which Alton Brown recommended.
If you like peanut butter, this is definitely a pie for you! Given the high calorie content, I probably wouldn’t make it again for just me and Alex, but I think I’d make it again to share!