pie

I don’t know what it is with Oreos but there always seems to be a package lingering in my pantry, begging to be used before its “best by date” passes.  We never eat them as is, if I buy them it’s either because I think I might want to bake with them or because I already have a recipe in mind that calls for them.  The lesson here is that I need to stop buying things on a whim (some might say impulse) because I might need them :)  I picked up a package of the holiday Oreos (they’re filled with red cream, which explains the reddish tint on the edge of the pie plate in some of the photos) on sale after Christmas and I’ve been trying to find ways to get through this package in the past few weeks.  I baked the Oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookies recently, then used them to make crusts for my his and hers ice cream tarts, and finally, turned to this frozen chocolate-peanut butter pie.  It was a double win – the Oreos are history, and this pie is awesome!

pie

pie

The recipe for the pie comes from Martha Stewart’s new Pies and Tarts book, which despite my best efforts, I couldn’t resist picking up at Borders recently.  The base is a pretty standard Oreo crust, though I think maybe with a bit more butter than usual, which I assume prevents it from becoming rock hard in the freezer.  The filling starts with a combination of cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar into which whipped cream is folded to help lighten the texture.  Melted chocolate and peanut butter are drizzled over the top for garnish.  I probably could have been a little neater with my zigzags, but that would have taken all the fun out of it.  Just pop a sheet of wax paper or parchment under your pie for easy clean-up if you intend to be messy like me :)  

Pie

This pie is a cinch to whip up and sure to be a hit with anyone who loves the combination of chocolate and peanut butter.  Even after several hours in the freezer, the filling is smooth and creamy and the crust is firm, but not impossible to cut.  I think it’d be perfect for late spring, when the weather is warm enough to enjoy freezer treats, but not so hot it melts them immediately.  

Frozen Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie
from Martha Stewart’s Pies & Tarts

Crust
1 3/4 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
pinch salt

Filling
6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cups peanut butter (smooth, not natural or chunky)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups heavy cream

Garnish
1 oz semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons peanut butter

To make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 F.  Combine the cookie crumbs, brown sugar and salt in a medium bowl.  Add the butter and toss with a fork until all of the crumbs are moistened (the mixture will be quite wet).  Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate.  Refrigerate for about 15 minutes so the crust is firm, then bake until set, about 8-10 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.   Mix in the peanut butter and vanilla.  (If you don’t have a second bowl for your stand mixer either transfer the cream cheese mixture to another bowl and wash the first, or do the next step with a hand mixer.)  Switch to the whisk attachment on your mixer and beat the heavy cream until you have soft peaks.  Take about 1/3 of the whipped cream and stir it into the cream cheese mixture to lighten it.  Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the remaining 2/3 of the whipped cream.  Transfer the filling to the cooled crust and spread in an even layer.  Freeze uncovered for at least 4 hours or up to 1 day covered with plastic wrap.

To garnish the pie: Put the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30 second bursts at 50% power, stirring in between each burst.  Continue until the chocolate is melted and smooth.  Transfer to a resealable plastic bag and snip a tiny bit off the corner.  Hold the bag over the pie and drizzle the melted chocolate in a zig-zag pattern.  Put the peanut butter in a small saucepan set over low heat and melt it, stirring frequently.  Add the melted peanut butter to a resealable plastic bag, snip off a corner and drizzle over the pie.  Let stand for about 10 minutes to set.

Remove the pie from the freezer about 10-15 minutes before you are ready to serve.  If you have trouble cutting it, running your knife under warm water will help.