Photos by: DiAne Gates
Tired of pumpkin pie? Here’s a do-ahead dessert with a twist that takes a little time to prepare, but if you follow the recipe ingredients you can make this one up to two days ahead. No cheating with the whipped cream or it won’t work. However, you can take some short cuts—won’t be as good—but it’s quicker. You can substitute a store bought pastry shell and a big package of store bought pudding mix. But please use the cook and serve mix…no instant stuff. And you could use Reddi-Wip, sigh. (But I hope not!)
Here’s my recipe, please enjoy.
1 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon of salt
6 tablespoons of cold, real butter (cut in small cubes)
2 tablespoons of peanut butter (I like the chunky kind)
4 to 5 tablespoons of cold water
Mix flour and salt, add cold butter cubes and peanut butter, Use either your fancy Cuisinart, a pastry cutter, fork, or your fingers. This mixture should be blended to a coarse, crumbly one. Add water one tablespoon at a time and stir ‘til water is absorbed and dough sticks together.
Wrap flour mixture in a sheet of plastic wrap (after wrapped form into a small, flat circle). Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Remove and place dough on floured surface. Cover dough with sheet of plastic wrap large enough to cover the size pie crust you’re going to roll out. Roll out the crust. Plastic wrap prevents the pie dough from sticking and breaking apart.
Place dough in pie pan, finish edges, and prick unbaked shell over the bottom and sides with a fork. Bake 10 to 12 minutes in a 450-degree oven. Set aside.
½ TO 2/3 cup of peanut butter (either smooth or crunchy)
½ cup powdered sugar
½ cup chopped peanuts
Mix ‘til peanut butter absorbs sugar and spread over the bottom of hot pie crust. Sprinkle with half cup of the chopped nuts.
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 cups heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Combine sugar and cornstarch in a sauce pot over medium heat. Gradually stir in the cream, making sure all cornstarch dissolves. Stir continuously until the mixture begins to thicken.
Whisk eggs in bowl. Mix a spoonful of the hot cream mixture into the eggs to warm them without scrambling the eggs. Add warm egg mixture to the cream, then add butter and vanilla. And if you want to be Chef de la Wonderful—scrape a fresh vanilla bean and mix in this pudding. To die for! That’s what those little dark specks are in the filling. Stir until the butter is melted. Remove from heat and pour over peanut butter mixture in the cooked pie shell.
Cover pudding mixture with a clean sheet of plastic wrap, allowing the wrap to press against the pudding. Set aside to cool. Then place in refrigerator ‘til completely chilled.
1 ½ cups of heavy cream
1/3 cup of Mascarpone cheese (softened)
½ cup of confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Chill mixing bowl and beaters. Pour heavy cream in cold bowl and whip ‘til cream begins to thicken. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Then add softened Mascarpone just ‘til blended. This should not take long in a cold bowl. Careful that you don’t beat the cream to butter.
Adding the Mascarpone gives more body to the cream and prevents weeping when the pie is refrigerated overnight.
Smooth the whipped cream over the cooled pie. Or if you have a pastry bag fill with the whipped cream and exercise your creative genius. Refrigerate. This pie gets better the longer it sits. Hmm, reminds me of the piece in the fridge marked with my name!