Peanut Butter Cream Pie with Raspberry Meringue
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When it comes to sweets, we don’t discriminate, but there’s something about pie that steals our heart every time. With her upcoming title, The Book on Pie, recipe developer Erin Jeanne McDowell has captured that feeling and turned it into a cookbook.
FYI, this isn’t just a book of pie recipes. It’s also a companion for any baker looking to master techniques and up their dessert game. No pie is intimidating with McDowell by your side—including this dreamy peanut butter cream pie with raspberry meringue.
“This is the pie for when you’re ready to break out of easy recipes and into medium,” she writes. “The peanut butter filling is easy to make, and then the meringue feels like an incredible triumph to swoop over the top. The pie looks straight out of a fairy tale, and the nostalgic flavor combo of PB&J is the icing on the cake.”
This may seem like a baking *project* but know that you can make the dough—and even bake and fill the pie—ahead. Just take a picture of your masterpiece before you gobble it up.
Excerpted from The Book on Pie © 2020 by Erin Jeanne McDowell. Photography © 2020 by Mark Weinberg. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
All-Buttah Pie Dough
1¼ cups (150g) all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon (1g) fine sea salt
8 tablespoons (113g) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
¼ cup (60g) ice water, plus more as needed
Egg wash, as needed
Peanut Butter Cream Pie
1 cup (235g) heavy cream
½ cup (56g) confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup (170g) creamy peanut butter
8 ounces (226g) cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup (99g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons (10g) pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon (2g) fine sea salt
4 large (142g) egg whites
½ teaspoon (2g) cream of tartar
1 cup (198g) granulated sugar
2½ ounces (70g) freeze-dried raspberries
Large pinch of fine sea salt
2 teaspoons (10g) pure vanilla extract (optional)
1. Make the Crust: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the butter cubes, tossing them through the flour until each piece is coated. Cut the butter into the flour by pressing the pieces between your fingers and thumbs, flattening the cubes into big shards.
2. Continue to toss the butter with the flour as you work, re-coating the pieces. Mix until the butter is about the size of walnut halves.
3. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add the water. (Have more at the ready.) Toss the mixture gently to moisten it. Add more water, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, until the dough comes together. When it starts to come together, you can mix by gently kneading the dough to make it more homogenous. The dough should hold together easily without feeling dry and crumbly or wet and sticky. Form the dough into a disk and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (and up to 3 days) before using.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough about 1 inch wider than a 9-inch pie plate (it should be about ¼ inch thick). Transfer to the pie plate, gently pushing it into the base. Trim the overhang to about ½ inch around the edge of the plate. Tuck and crimp as desired. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before baking.
5. Blind-Bake the Crust: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Using a fork, dock the bottom of the crust all over. Cut a square of parchment slightly larger than the pie plate, then place it on top of the crust and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Transfer to the oven and bake until the edges just start to brown, 15 to 17 minutes. Remove from the oven and use the parchment to lift the pie weights from the crust. Return to the oven and bake until evenly golden and fully baked, 10 to 12 minutes more. Cool completely and brush with egg wash before filling.
6. Make the Filling and Assemble: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the cream and powdered sugar to medium peaks. Transfer to a medium bowl and refrigerate.
7. Wipe out the mixer bowl and return it to the mixer stand; switch to the paddle attachment. Add the peanut butter, cream cheese and granulated sugar to the bowl and cream until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and salt and mix to combine.
8. Add about one quarter of the whipped cream to the peanut butter mixture and mix vigorously to combine (this first addition will temper the mixture by lightening it). Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and gently fold in the remaining whipped cream in two or three additions.
9. Pour the filling into the cooled pie crust and spread into an even layer. Chill for at least 1 hour (or up to 24 hours).
10. Make the Meringue: In the bowl of a food processer, process the freeze-dried raspberries with the sugar to form a fine powder.
11. Bring a medium pot filled with about 2 inches of water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Set a medium bowl over the pot, add all the ingredients and whisk to combine. Heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches 160°F on a thermometer.
12. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue to whisk (or transfer the heated mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment). Whip the mixture on medium-high speed until it reaches medium peaks, about 5 minutes.
13. Just before serving, spread or pipe the meringue on top of the chilled pie. If desired, toast the meringue with a kitchen torch.
Note: This pie can be made through step 10 up to 24 hours ahead and kept refrigerated; it is best to add the meringue topping as close to serving as possible.