Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mrs. Salter's Peanut Butter Pie

A really good slice of delicious, creamy pie is one of my very favorite desserts. My Mema's chocolate meringue pie is one of my favorites. I hope to share the recipe with you here one day, but until then, let me just say - it is fabulous.

I don't know who Mrs. Salter is, but this pie is fabulous, too, in its own way. It's definitely creamy (thanks to lots of whipped heavy cream and cream cheese). But the true reason for its fabulousness is that it is so, so easy and so versatile. See my notes after the recipe for some ideas on ways you can adapt this pie, but the sky's the limit. It's delicious enough for your holiday table and you can make it in advance. It comes together so quickly and the ingredients are so few and simple it's a great dessert to prepare for unexpected company or to take to a dinner party. I doubled the recipe and was able to get enough filling for three store bought pie crusts. Also, I only chilled the pie for about 2 hours instead of 4 before we ate it, and it was still very good. However, I do recommend chilling it for at least 4 hours for best flavor and slicing.

Mrs. Salter's Peanut Butter Pie
recipe adapted from Paula Deen


  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy works fine here, use your favorite)
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 9" pie crust

1. Pour the heavy cream and granulated sugar into a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or you can also use a large bowl and a hand-held mixer). Whisk on high speed until stiff, heavy peaks form. Be careful not to overbeat or you will end up with butter! When you lift the beater, a peak of whipped cream should stay standing.

2. Transfer the whipped cream to another large bowl and wipe out the bowl and return it to the mixer. (If using a handheld mixer, you will need another medium bowl for the cream cheese mixture).

3. Add the cream cheese and confectioners sugar to the mixer. Cream them together first on low speed, then on high speed until all of the sugar is incorporated.

4. Add the peanut butter and vanilla and beat on medium speed to combine.

5. Fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture gently until the two mixtures are completely combined.

6. Transfer the pie filling into the pie crust and chill for at least 4 hours.

Some ways to adapt and dress up this pie:
  • Top with more freshly whipped cream and chopped, toasted peanuts.
  • Use a chocolate cookie crust and top with cooled chocolate ganache before chilling (To make chocolate ganache, put 1/2 cup of semisweet or milk chocolate chips in a bowl. Heat 1/2 cup of heavy cream to a simmer, but not boiling, in the microwave or on the stove top. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, and whisk until combined. Let come to room temperature and pour over pie). You can also cheat and use those chocolate hard shell ice cream toppings.
  • Garnish with peanut butter cups.
  • To make a lower fat, lower sugar version, you can use a sugar free graham cracker crust, fat free Cool Whip in place of the heavy cream, Neufchatel cheese in place of the cream cheese, reduced fat peanut butter, and Splenda or another sugar substitute in place of sugar.

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