But, the other pie that places a close second for many years as well, has been the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie. So I figured, why not try to combine both of these heavenly pies into ONE??! (I seriously know what you're thinking right now "this sounds deadly!") Yes- it's like heaven on a plate! One of those "guilty pleasures" that you just gotta have once in awhile, and everyone definitely loved it! (Even though my oldest said that just the plain chocolate cream pie is still his favorite.)
This rich and luscious pie begins with an Oreo cookie crust- covered with a rich layer of ganache and crunchy peanuts, a layer of heavenly peanut butter and cream cheese filling, topped with a creamy chocolate pudding, and finished with a lightly sweetened, fresh vanilla whipped cream, and chocolate shavings. OMG!!
Sounds like a lot of work, right? Well, I took a shortcut by purchasing already made pie crusts, and already had the ganache on hand from another cake I recently made. Since most people wouldn't ordinarily have ganache on hand, purchased fudge sauce would do the trick as well! Another shortcut would be to buy the instant chocolate pudding, instead of taking the time to make it from scratch. (Seriously won't take you more than an hour of total time to pull together. Plus, this recipe makes 2 pies!) I also baked the pie crusts for just a few minutes to just add a bit more "crunch factor", but you can totally skip that step if you wish! This pie is truly to die for!
Yield: 2- standard 9in. pies (Or 16+ pieces)
2- 9in. Oreo pie crusts (can be purchased or made)
1 1/2 cups of Ganache or Fudge sauce (melted & slightly cooled)
1/2 cup of peanuts (whole or chopped)
***Optional: Bake crusts in a 350F oven for about 6min., and allow to cool.
1) Take your melted, (and slightly cooled) ganache or fudge sauce, and pour into the base of each crust. Carefully tilt the shell to allow the chocolate to coat the entire base, (and/ or sides if you wish), evenly. ***If you are afraid of ruining the crust, just take a spoon and spread the chocolate sauce at the base as evenly as possible. (See pic below for reference.)
2) Sprinkle the peanuts over the chocolate as evenly as possible. Place the pie crusts in the refrigerator to firm up.
Peanut Butter & Cream Cheese Filling:
1 tsp. of Knox gelatin
1- 8oz. package of cream cheese (softened)
1 cup of creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. of Vanilla extract
1 cup fresh whipped cream (whipped up separately w/ no sugar added)
1) First, "bloom" the gelatin in a small dish by adding just enough cold water to the gelatin for it to solidify- making sure to stir. (About 1-2 tsp.) Allow to set for about 5min. or so.
2) Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat the cream cheese well- making sure to scrape the bowl. Add the peanut butter, and beat until perfectly smooth. Add the sugar until combined. Lastly, add the vanilla. Melt the gelatin at this time by adding a small amount of boiling water, and stirring until completely dissolved. (Not more than about 1T.)
3) In a separate bowl, whip up the cup of whipping cream until stiff peaks form. BY HAND, (and using a rubber spatula), carefully fold the whipping cream into the heavy peanut butter mixture. Add the dissolved gelatin, and fold well- making sure there are no lumps of gelatin! Divide the mixture in half- pouring the filling into the prepared pie crusts, and spread evenly. Cover the tops with plastic wrap, and return to the refrigerator to set.
1 box of Instant Chocolate Pudding mix (Follow the directions on package)
1/2 cup of sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 cup of dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 T. unsalted butter
1) If making instant pudding, make according to directions on box. Divide pudding in half between both pies, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to set in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
If making the recipe from scratch, in a pot (off heat), combine: sugar, cornstarch, and salt, and mix to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and yolks. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients in the pot.
Note: I don't make my pastry cream by tempering! (The conventional method.) I've found after many years of tempering for pastry cream, that this method was more efficient, and I've never had any problems!
2) Place the pot on medium to high heat- stirring constantly with a whisk to make sure the mixture doesn't scramble, or scorch the bottom of the pot! When the mixture begins to thicken, and bubble, lower the heat, and cook for 3 minutes. Whisk in the chocolate chips, and cook for an additional 6-7 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk in the butter until melted. Pour the pudding into a bowl, cover directly with plastic wrap, make a couple slits in the plastic with a knife, (to vent the heat), and place in the refrigerator to chill for 2- 4 hours.
To Finish the Pie:
3 cups whipping cream
about 1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
Chocolate shavings, chocolate cake or cookie crumbs
melted chocolate for decorating
1) When the chocolate pudding is completely cooled, divide in half, and pour evenly over the pies.
2) In a chilled and clean mixing bowl, whip up the cream, adding the sugar in 2-3 stages during mixing. (Once the cream begins to get "frothy", add about 1/4 - 1/2 of the sugar, and then add more as it begins to thicken.) Add the vanilla at the end when the cream begins to thicken.
3) Divide the whipped cream between the two pies, and ice smoothly, or pipe cream on if you wish! Score the pies into 8 slices each.
4) Finish the pies by placing chocolate shavings, or crumbs on the outside edge, and by drizzling melted chocolate over the top, etc. When ready to serve, make sure to use a hot and clean knife between each cut, lift pieces out of pan with a pie server or flat metal spatula. ***Will keep fresh for 3-5 days.
***If making pies ahead of time, you can freeze the pies after filling with the peanut butter mixture- making sure to wrap well. The pudding and cream can be added later when you are ready to finish!