When was the last time you had a bite of peanut butter pie you didn't like? I never have. And if it's good peanut butter pie, we're talking more than a bite.
There isn't a year that goes by that I don't get requests for the recipe for Goober Pie at Mount Vernon Restaurant. So far, owner Jeff Messinger hasn't divulged the secret.
But on a recent rainy afternoon, the perfect time for going through my recipe files, I came across an issue of Southern Living I'd been saving since 2006. I knew the reason at once. The picture of Southern Peanut Butter Silk Delight grabbed my attention five years ago, and it did so again that afternoon. I made a quick trip to the store to buy the ingredients and came home ready to bake.
The first ingredient, multigrain crackers, did give me pause. Multigrain crackers in a peanut butter pie? But the combination worked. They were mixed with butter and sugar to make the crust. The rest of the pie included peanut butter, white and milk chocolate, whipping cream and vanilla, and a topping of peanuts and little chocolate curls.
This pie is a multilayer affair that took a good deal longer than the 30 minutes of preparation time listed on the recipe. Plan on a couple of hours from start to finish.
This is one of the best pies you'll ever have, and it will make an excellent addition to your yuletide dinner. I like to have something different on my Christmas menu each year, and this is it this year. If you think it doesn't sound colorful enough for a holiday dessert, put it on a Christmas platter and top it with a cherry.
Merry Christmas to you all!
Southern Peanut Butter Silk Delight
13/4 cups crushed multigrain club crackers
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
1 (4-ounce) milk chocolate candy bar, broken into small pieces
3 tablespoons whipping cream, warmed
2 cups whipping cream, divided
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1 cup creamy peanut butter
11/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1 (4-ounce) white chocolate baking bar, melted
1/2 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup chopped lightly salted cocktail peanuts
1/4 cup confectioners sugar
Garnishes: lightly salted peanuts and chocolate curls, if desired
Combine crushed crackers, 1/3 cup sugar and melted butter in a medium bowl. Press mixture on bottom and up sides of an ungreased 9-inch deep-dish pie plate.
Bake at 350 F for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack.
Stir together chocolate candy bar pieces and 3 tablespoons warm whipping cream until chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour into cooled pie crust.
Beat 2/3 cup whipping cream at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.
Beat together cream cheese and confectioners sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add peanut butter, 1/3 cup whipping cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla and white chocolate, beating at medium speed until blended. Fold in 2/3 cup whipped cream. Spread mixture evenly over milk chocolate layer in pan. Cover and freeze 30 minutes or until slightly firm.
Make ganache by bringing whipped cream to a light boil over medium-high heat. Pour over chocolate morsels in medium pan, and stir till chocolate is melted and ganache is smooth. Spread ganache evenly over peanut layer, and sprinkle with chopped nuts.
Beat remaining 1 cup whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup confectioners sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, beating until stiff peaks form.
Spoon cream mixture into a 1-quart zip-top plastic bag. (Do not seal.) Snip a tiny hole in 1 corner of bag, and pipe onto edges of pie by gently squeezing bag. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Garnish, if desired.
A last-minute note ... If you haven't made plans for Christmas lunch, there are a few places to dine.
Broad Street Grille at The Chattanoogan, 1201 Broad St., will be open from noon to 5 p.m. The Christmas Day buffet will feature a Mediterranean menu. Cost is $32.95 for adults, $17.95 for children ages 7-12. For reservations, call 424-3700.
The Bluff View Art District will be abuzz with Christmas cheer as it presents its annual Christmas Day brunch. All the chefs in the district collaborate to bring a mouthwatering feast to the table with traditional as well as international holiday fare. Brunch will be served in Renaissance Commons and Back Inn Cafe from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. Sunday. For reservations, call 265-5033.
DoubleTree Hotel, 407 Chestnut St., will be serving three meals on Christmas Sunday. Hours are 6-11 a.m. for breakfast, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. for lunch and 5-10 p.m. for dinner. For reservations, call 756-5150.
Finally, Hair of the Dog Pub, 334 Market St., and The Honest Pint, 35 Patten Parkway, will open at 5 p.m. They'll serve their usual assortment of food and beverage should you have any room in your stomach left after the big meal of the day.
Email Anne Braly at email@example.com.