Who Wants Dessert? Peanut Butter Cup Pie

I did a wee bit of baking for today. My sister in law requested that I make her a peanut butter cup pie. Which I did. I also made another salted caramel cheesecake (recipe at the link). So I hope everybody wants dessert!

(sorry about the lighting…)

Peanut Butter Cup Pie

Crust:

1 and 1/2 cups of crushed chocolate graham grackers

1/2 stick of sweet unsalted butter melted

Coat a 10 inch wide, as deep as you’ve got pie pan with cooking spray or wipe with sweet, unsalted butter. Combine the crushed chocolate graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter. Spoon into the greased pie pan and pat down from the center to the sides and then up the sides. Place in the freezer.

Dark Chocolate Ganache Base

4 ounces dark chocolate chips (use semi-sweet if you prefer)

4 ounces heavy whipping cream

Place the dark chocolate chips in a bowl. Bring the cream to a boil and pour over the chocolate chips. Let stand for five minutes. With a whisk, combine the hot cream and the melted chocolate completely to make a ganache. Remove the pie crust from the freezer. Pour the ganache into the bottom of the pie crust and with an offset spatula (or a non offset spatula if you prefer), gently work the ganache around the bottom of the crust and up the sides before it sets. Place in the refrigerator.

Peanut Butter Filling (Mousse)

10 ounces heavy whipping cream

20 ounces of peanut butter

2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar

Whip 10 ounces of heavy whipping cream to stiff peaks and then place in the refrigerator. Whip 20 ounces of peanut butter – whatever type you prefer – until the color begins to lighten and it becomes very, very smooth. Add between 2 and 3 tablespoons of sugar (to taste and depending on how sweet the peanut butter you’re using is). Continue to whip for another 3 to 5 minutes until the sugar is thoroughly incorporated.

Remove the whipped cream from the refrigerator and fold it into the whipped, sweetened peanut butter. Once the whipped cream and peanut butter are thoroughly incorporated remove the pie crust from the refrigerator and fill the crust with the peanut butter filling (mousse). It should look like this:

Place the pie back in the refrigerator and refrigerate for at least four hours (I let mine sit overnight).

Now we make the top.

Dark Chocolate Ganache Topping

8 ounces dark chocolate chips (use semi-sweet if you prefer)

8 ounces heavy whipping cream

Place the dark chocolate chips in a bowl. Bring the cream to a boil and pour over the chocolate chips. Let stand for five minutes. With a whisk, combine the hot cream and the melted chocolate completely to make a ganache. Remove the pie from the refrigerator. It must be cold. Pour the chocolate ganache onto the center of the pie and then use an offset spatula to work the ganache out to the edge of the pie so it mates up with the top of the crust. It should look like this:

Place it back in the refrigerator for at least a 1/2 hour before serving so the ganache can finish setting up on top. When ready to serve, remove the pie from the refrigerator, slice it, plate it, and eat it. Or if you’re really hard core just eat it straight from the pie pan (you know who you are…).

What I really need to do is get a silicon pie mold. Then I can chocolate ganache the entire inside of the mold, then fill it with the peanut butter mousse, then ganache the top. Once it is all set I can just pop it out of the mold and have a very large, stand alone peanut butter cup.

Anyhow: open thread!








Shitty politics. Shitty pizza. Papa John’s.

Wingnut pizza mogul Papa John Schnatter is hanging up the pizza peel:

Schnatter is the cheap prick who previously caught flak for lamenting the additional $0.14-per-pie cost of insuring his employees after the ACA passed.

He was a Trump donor and took up Trump’s line about the NFL players’ BLM protests, claiming it cost his chain of ketchup-encrusted hardtack purveyors $70 million.

White supremacists publicly made Papa John’s their official pizza chain, which made decent folks give it the side-eye. That actually did hurt business.

So, Schnatter will remain chairman and continue to be obscenely wealthy. I’m sure Trump’s tax scam will shower him with extra wealth.

But it turns out that if the public face of your company is a Trumpster, that’s bad for business. Good.



A Late Evening Snack: Salted Caramel Cheesecake

Earlier this week I broke out the emergency tiara, frilly apron, and matching oven mitts to make a salted caramel cheesecake. This was a favor for the Mom who was giving it as a gift. So I did the salted caramel parts while she did the cheesecake parts.

Here’s the recipe.

Cheesecake

3 eight ounce bars of cream cheese

3 eggs

8 ounces of sour cream

1 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 cup of graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons of butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter and mix with the graham cracker crumbs to make the crust. Place the butter moistened crumbs into the bottom of a 10 inch diameter springform pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray or buttered. Pat down the crumbs to form the base and then place in the freezer while preparing the cheesecake batter.

Whip the cream cheese and the eggs together until smooth. Alternating between one bar of cream cheese and one egg. Add the sour cream and whip until incorporated. Then add the sugar and the vanilla.

Salted Caramel Ganache

8 ounces of heavy whipping cream

8 ounces of caramels

Place the caramels in a bowl that can be used as the top part of a double boiler. Scald the heavy whipping cream. Pour the scalded cream over the caramels and let sit for five minutes. If the caramels are not completely melted and soft and won’t incorporate with the cream, place the bowl over the top of a pot of boiling water/bottom half of a double boiler, and whisk until the caramels melt and incorporate with the cream into a ganache. Then add kosher salt to taste.

Add the salted caramel ganache to the cheesecake batter and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Remove the springform pan from the freezer and pour the cheesecake batter into it. Place in the oven and back for one hour. Then turn off the oven and let it cool with the door open for one hour. Then remove from the oven and let cool on the counter for one hour. Then refrigerate. Once the cheesecake is cold (at least several hours in the refrigerator), make a 1/2 batch of the salted caramel ganache and pour onto the top of the cold cheesecake. It will begin to set up immediately. Sprinkle with kosher salt or finishing salt and place back in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

Open thread!








Massachusetts Man: Donuts! Edition

The Boston Globe reports:

Former state senator Brian A. Joyce collected about $1 million in bribes and kickbacks that he laundered through his law firm, according to a sweeping 102-page indictment that accuses the Milton Democrat of turning his public office into a criminal enterprise — even accepting hundreds of pounds of free coffee from a Dunkin’ Donuts owner.

Joyce, once the Senate’s assistant majority leader, was taken from his Westport home in handcuffs early on Friday morning and escorted by federal agents to be booked and fingerprinted, and face federal charges of mail fraud, corruption, money laundering, and embezzlement, among many others.

Acting US Attorney William Weinreb said prosecutors launched the investigation of Joyce after a series of stories by The Boston Globe that began in January 2015 looking at Joyce’s mingling of public and personal business.

Weinreb said investigators estimated that Joyce’s many illegal schemes have netted him about $1 million since 2010. Prosecutors say, among other things, Joyce extorted a Jeep from a Milton developer and collected more than $100,000 in phony legal fees from a Dunkin’ Donuts store owner in exchange for using his influence to help them.

Harold Shaw, special agent in charge of the Boston FBI office, was more blunt: “We believe Mr. Joyce was greedy, plain and simple.’’

Ya think?!?!?

Anyhow the donut reference, yes I know it was coffee from Dunkins, and the Boston reference trigger the following obligatory entries.

Open thread!



Thanksgiving Files: Blueberry Pie

This was my very first (!) pie attempt years ago

I have to work today, but I thought I’d put together a couple of Thanksgiving recipe posts to give you guys a chance to share your favorite recipes.  I cancelled my big Thanksgiving plans and told the relatives I’d go out early December to see everyone, instead. But I’ll still be cooking for friends, here. The weather will be in the 70s tomorrow, so I suspect there will be some hiking involved.

To get the ball rolling – dessert. From my blog:

Blueberry pie is a must at my house for Thanksgiving. This recipe is my go-to. The key is to add fresh blueberries to the cooked blueberries for the most blueberry flavor.  Originally posted in 2012

Blueberry Pie

Filling:

  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on your sweetness preference, I used 1/2 cup)
  • 2-1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen (and thawed) blueberries
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest

In a saucepan, add sugar, cornstarch, water and 1 cup blueberries. Bring to a rapid boil, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Once cool, add 3 cups of blueberries, lemon juice and lemon zest, fold in completely. Cool in refrigerator until time to put the pie together. I also chilled the bowl I mixed everything in, as well.

Crust:

  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter, very cold
  • 1/2 cup ice water

Cut butter into small pieces (I actually cut frozen butter, it was easier) and place in the freezer to chill it completely. Whisk together flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in butter until it is crumbly. Drizzle in the water and mix together until it forms a loose ball (do not over mix, you want visible butter pieces). Turn out onto a floured surface, knead gently, divide into two equal pieces (I weighed them), form each into a ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour. While I was at it, I refrigerated my marble rolling pin and marble pastry board.

To assemble pie: roll out one of the balls until it’s about 12-13 inches (depending on your pie plate size) and about 3/16” thick. To move to your pie plate, flour your rolling pin again and fold the dough over it, transfer to the plate and it should fall into place. Gently form it to the plate and let excess dough overhang the edge – you can brush the edge with water before adding the top pastry. With all the butter, this step really isn’t necessary, it quickly seals itself. Add blueberry filling. Roll out second ball to the same size and thickness. Move to the plate and adjust over the pie plate. Now you can trim the excess dough, or you can tuck it under and then pinch to flute it. Next time I’m sure I’ll experience one of those, but this time, it was pretty skimpy for me to flute.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, reduce heat to 375 and continue until golden brown (I had to bake another 40 minutes). You’ll probably have to tent the edges with foil to keep them from burning. I did that at the 25 minute mark. Let cool until just warm to touch for the blueberries to set if you want to serve warm.

Later today, we’ll talk turkey.

Now it’s your turn. What’s your favorite/successful recipe for pie crust? And what desserts will grace your table this Thanksgiving (if you celebrate)? What dessert do you absolutely loathe?  Mine is minced meat pie – which my dad adores, so I try to make sure it’s available for him. Open thread.








Tuesday Afternoon Open Thread

Just cleaned out my fridge to make room for the Thanksgiving feast makings. The hens are the chief beneficiaries, being the wrong kind of poultry and the right kind of recipients of vegetable and fruit drawer flotsam.

I am making the following for Thanksgiving:

Turkey
Gravy
Mashed potatoes
Dressing/stuffing
Fried cabbage
Corn casserole
Candied sweet potatoes
Parker House rolls

My sister is bringing the obligatory green bean casserole, and I’ve farmed out a few other side dishes and desserts. While the cooking is underway, we’ll have appetizers out, primarily cheeses and fruit — including my husband’s excellent homemade ricotta. Plus there will be iced tea, sodas, beer, wine and homemade (hard) cider.

It’s supposed to be rainy here on Thanksgiving, which is a pity, because I’m always threatening to move the entire party to the beach. But I’m talked out of that yearly anyway, because that would be a pain in the ass.

No wingnut relatives will be in attendance this year — not due to any conflict or design, it just worked out that way. And you know what? I’m okay with that.

Open thread for all topics, including Thanksgiving plans, recipe swaps, etc.



Late Night Thanksgiving Food Atrocities Open Thread

Since even a skilled cook can find it difficult to make a modern pre-frozen Butterball bird corpse taste like anything other than poultry-flavored styrofoam, it’s not surprising that every few years there’s a new fad — brining! deep-frying! — intended to add novelty to the “essential centerpiece” of our national celebratory Bloat.

The NY Daily News blames this year’s novelty, courtesy the Reynolds Corporation, on “Instagram chefs — who cook things just for their photo value”. (Of course Kids These Days is another time-honored perennial.)

It also predicts worse for the future, difficult as that might be to imagine…