My Sweetheart Sherwood rode in the Tour de Farms a couple of weeks ago. He biked 100 — yes, one hundred — miles! And all this on very little training (we had just reached our 1000 mile mark on our tandem, but only in 10-, 20-, 30- and 40-mile increments!) and we had been swing dancing the night before. Three hours of sleep was all the rest between Sherwood and his trek.
Of all the food he sampled the one thing he mentioned after the ride was his snack of peanut butter and bananas. Sherwood, it seems, has been deprived of peanut butter for some time. You see, I have an allergy to nuts. It's not the rush-me-to-the-hospital-immediately allergy, just an inconvenient tongue-tingling allergy. I don't eat peanuts, tree nuts, sunflower or sesame seeds anymore and by extension neither does my family. Mind you I never wanted to deprive the family of a food, but I guess I forgot to buy peanut butter for a couple of years. Unless I've needed it for a particular recipe, I've avoided the whole nut thing.
Until now. Sherwood decided that a big scoop of peanut butter on a mashed up banana was his answer to cycling-energy-food nirvana. It reminded me of this pie that everyone loves. So, here's my nod to peanut buttery goodness. The filling is a light peanut butter mousse that tastes great chilled or almost frozen. You can make it a day ahead and the flavors will improve.
Peanut Butter Mousse Pie
- 1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 6 Tablespoons melted butter plus a bit more for greasing
- 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 Tablespoons confectioners sugar
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- 3⁄4 cup semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Make crust: Grease a 9 inch pie plate. Mix together the cookie crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press evenly into the pie plate. Chill one hour.
Make Filling: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese and peanut butter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Gradually add 1 cup of confectioners sugar. Beat until fluffy. In a separate bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Add 2 Tablespoons confectioners sugar and vanilla. Whip to stiff peaks. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture. Gently fold in the remaining cream. Spoon into chilled crust. Chill until firm- about three hours.
Make topping: In a small saucepan, heat the cream to a simmer. Add the chocolate. Stir until smooth and melted. Cool to room temperature. Spread over pie. Chill again until firm.
Savor. Linger. Enjoy!
Cynthia Finnemore Simonds is the author of two Down East Cookbooks. Superb Maine Soups and Fresh Maine Salads, available at
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