Recently, the whole family went to The Local in Newton where the fried pickles are good and the macaroni and cheese is even better. (Holy crap, their mac 'n' cheese is good, and I don't even like mac 'n' cheese. It's on par with Silvertone's, in my opinion, so if you don't feel like driving into Boston to luxuriate in a bowl of cheesy mac, now you know: West Newton, baby.)
Anyway, TeenNiece ordered the peanut butter pie for dessert. She really liked it. Later on, I noticed, peanut butter pie kept coming up in conversation. I suggested that maybe we should try to make one ourselves. Peanut butter is something we always have on hand, after all. And chocolate. At least for a little while.
TeenNiece and I worked on this together, and what we came up with is a little bit dangerous: peanut butter mousse in a salted peanut-graham cracker crust with thick ribbons of bittersweet chocolate sauce poured on top. Consider what your waistline is worth to you before you commit to making this pie. It's somewhat airier than the version we had at The Local (maybe ease up on the whipped cream if you want to get picky about the details), but TeenNiece likes it this way so that's how it's going to stay.
Peanut Butter Pie with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce
Inspired by The Local, 1391 Washington St., West Newton, MA
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (or 10 whole graham crackers crushed)
1/3 cup dry-roasted, salted peanuts, ground in the food processor
1 8-oz. package cream cheese
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup heavy cream
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate chips (like Ghirardelli) or shaved chocolate
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 F. For the crust, combine the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, and ground peanuts. Press into a 9-inch pie dish and bake 7-9 minutes until edges start to color and you can smell the peanutty aroma. Set aside and let cool.
For the filling, beat the cream cheese and sugar with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer until smooth. Mix in peanut butter and vanilla. In a separate medium bowl, beat the cream with a whisk or electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Stir about a half cup of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture, then gently fold in the rest of the whipped cream just until no longer streaky. Carefully pour the mousse into the crust and chill at least 3 hours or overnight.
For the sauce, combine cream, chocolate, and salt in a small saucepan and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Transfer to small bowl and let cool. If the sauce starts to separate or you want it a little thinner, whisk in a bit of extra cream until smooth. When ready to serve, reheat just enough to get a pourable consistency (don't pour hot molten fudge on your nicely chilled pie). To serve, ribbon chocolate sauce over each slice of pie, letting it puddle on the sides.