You should be familiar with my favorite pie. If you aren't, jump over to this blog post, but then come right back here!
|This custard pie recipe spans generations of pie lovers!|
My second favorite pie is one you're going to love.
Every spring and fall we make the trip to Indiana and Michigan to visit our family. One of the highlights is spending a few days in Amish Country.
And of course, we always stop at least once at our favorite restaurant, Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury, Indiana.
Every visit there is a step back in time. My Dad spent some of his best growing up years on the farm where much of the Essenhaus Village now sits.
The Essenhaus is known for its stick-to-your-ribs old fashioned cooking. Mashed potatoes, gravy, homemade noodles, broasted chicken, homemade rolls...and, of course, pie. (Stop by their website for a glimpse of the great menu and other attractions.)
If we only plan one meal there on our trip east, I'm always torn between Custard Pie and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie. Decisions, decisions!
But, alas, this year is different! Instead of our usual week long visits in the spring and fall, we're making one longer visit in June. Most of that time will be spent in Michigan, so our time in Indiana will be limited.
And what does that mean? My pie eating is in jeopardy!
So of course, the only thing to do is to figure out how to make my second favorite pie in my own kitchen, and no one in my family is complaining!
The Chocolate-Peanut Butter pie has four steps, Bear with me here...
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cream Pie
Step 1: The Crust
I always use the same pie crust recipe. After all, if it isn't broken, why try to fix it?
For the demo on how to make the pie crust, go to the link for the custard pie. Or you can just use this recipe for Never Fail Pie Crust:
3 cups flour
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 beaten egg
5-6 Tablespoons water
Mix the flour and salt together. Cut in the butter.
Mix the egg, vinegar and water together. Add to the flour/butter mixture, and stir or knead until combined.
This recipe makes enough dough for three pie crusts. I like my pie crust fairly thick, so I plan on one single crust pie and one double crust pie.
For this pie, you need a single crust pie, prebaked. So roll out the crust, put it in the pie plate, crimp the edges, poke the bottom in a few places with a for, and then bake for 10-12 minutes at 475°.
While you're at it, roll out the rest of the dough, too. Make a second pie crust shell and roll out the rest of the crust to use for the top of a double crust pie. Put plastic wrap between the layers, cover (I put mine in my Tupperware pie keeper), and freeze. We'll use this crust in a couple weeks. ;)
Step 2: The Chocolate
For this layer you need chocolate pudding. If you have your favorite recipe, use that. You can even use instant pudding. Or even canned.
I use this recipe for cooked Chocolate Pudding:
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons corn starch or arrowroot powder
2 1/2 Tablespoons flour
2 1/4 cups milk (I use whole milk)
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whisk the flour, salt, arrowroot powder (or corn starch) and sugar together in a medium sized pan.
Gradually add the 2 1/4 cups milk until blended and smooth. Heat on medium-high, stirring constantly until the mixture is thickened and begins to boil.
Boil for one minute.
Remove the pan from the heat.
Slightly beat the egg yolks in a small bowl. Gradually add about 1/2 cup of the cooked pudding to the egg yolks, one spoonful at a time, beating after each addition. As you go, you can increase the amount of pudding that you add to the eggs until it's all incorporated. Now you can add the egg mixture to the rest of the pudding and stir until blended.
What you're doing in the step above is slowly cooking the egg yolks in the hot pudding mixture. But if you do it too quickly, you end up with scrambled eggs.
NO ONE likes scrambled eggs in their chocolate pudding!!! So take the time to do it right. :)
Next, add the chocolate! I used Nestle's, but Ghiradelli would work, too.
Once the chocolate chips are all melted, add the butter and vanilla. Stir until the butter is melted and the pudding is smooth.
Let the pudding cool a bit in the pan, stirring often. Once it's warm rather than hot (use your own judgement!), pour the pudding into your prebaked pie crust.
Drop a piece of plastic wrap over the pudding so that it doesn't form a skin on top as it cools, and refrigerate.
Step 3: The Peanut Butter
I tried the peanut butter cream filling from The Pioneer Woman that Missy used in this post: Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie That's to Die For
The cream cheese makes it a bit richer than the Essenhaus Pie I was going for, but it is SO GOOD that I didn't even consider making anything else!
The Pioneer Woman's Peanut Butter Cream Pie Filling
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1 8-oz tub Cool Whip, thawed
It's easy to do this in your mixer, but you could do it by hand.
Mix the peanut butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Carefully add the powdered sugar and mix. Once everything is smooth and delicious, add the Cool Whip and keep mixing until it smooth and creamy.
Step 4: Put it all together
Remove your chocolate filled pie crust from the refrigerator.
DON'T FORGET TO TAKE OFF THE PLASTIC WRAP!!!
Spread the peanut butter cream layer on top of the pudding.
Refrigerate again for about four hours.
Or if you can't wait, go ahead and dig in. It won't be as pretty, but it still tastes fabulous!!!!
Verdict: This pie is not the same as the one from Essenhaus. But it's good enough to share the recipe! I was pleased with the way it turned out.
Have you ever tried to create your own copy-cat recipe? How did it turn out?