I’m very particular about my peanut butter pie. True peanut butter pie does not have cream cheese in it—that would make it a cheesecake. Peanut butter cheesecake is delicious, but that’s a whole other recipe we’ll get to on another day. You may be tempted to drizzle this pie with chocolate or make it with a chocolate graham cracker crust. And to that I say that peanut butter is good enough to stand on its own—it doesn’t need the chocolate here. This is true blue peanut butter pie—creamy, silky, and rich.
Makes 1 small 6" pie.
- 3 graham cracker sheets
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons halved unsalted peanuts, toasted
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Freshly whipped cream for serving, if desired
- First make the crust. Crush together in a food processor all crust ingredients, or use a resealable bag and a mallet. Make sure the crumbs are very finely ground. Press the mixture into a 7” pie tin, making sure to pack the mixture very well. You will be rewarded with a crust that does not fall apart when slicing if you take the time to pack it well. Bake the crust on a sheet pan at 350° for 10 minutes. Let cool while making the filling.
- To make the filling, begin by whisking the sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a large bowl. While whisking, slowly add the evaporated milk. Make sure the dry ingredients are completely dissolved.
- Have the beaten egg yolk ready to go in a small bowl next to the stove before proceeding.
- Pour the milk mixture into a small sauce pan, and turn the heat to medium. Stir the mixture constantly with a wooden spoon. When the mixture thickens and starts to bubble a bit, turn off the heat. Add a few spoonfuls of the hot custard to the beaten egg yolk, whisking vigorously. Add a few more spoonfuls and continue to stir. Now, pour the egg and custard mixture back into the saucepan. Turn the heat back on to medium and whisk for about 3 minutes, until thickened.
- Turn off the heat, then whisk in the peanut butter and vanilla. Whisk this mixture very well, or else the oil in the peanut butter will separate when the pie cools.
- Pour the mixture into the crust. You will probably have a few spoonfuls of extra filling, but this is due to the fact that I do not like to scrape the bottom of the pan after making pudding or custard because that’s where the lumps (if any) can be found. Press plastic wrap directly on the surface, then chill the pie for at least 4 hours before serving. Top with whipped cream and extra chopped peanuts if desired.