Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Better Than A Snickers Bar Pie

The more I write this blog, the more I want to push myself and my cooking into new areas. After all, no one, myself included, is interested in hearing about something that was bland or boring in both conception and execution. Everyone wants to know about the more interesting stuff - the successes, the failures (when I am not too humiliated to write about them...) and the 'extreme sport' end of cooking. And for me, I am a little embarrassed to admit, this pie sat at the extreme sport end of the cooking spectrum. Now before you raise your eyebrows in disgust at my lack of experience in what is clearly a fairly popular and commonplace dessert, let me confess a few things which made this a bit trickier for me:

1. Pies at my house are usually savoury, not sweet
2. I usually use pre-rolled pastry
3. When I make pies they usually have only one filling, not what felt like eleventy (OK three)
4. Making anything where peanuts are a major ingredient feels like you are tearing up the harbour on the trapeze of a skiff (where I live the allergy issues associated with peanuts are fairly extreme)
5. I had never cooked anything like this before and was making it for a dinner for old friends we hadn't seen in months and months and I had no Plan B for dessert.

So I was feeling the pressure, but eventually wound up with a pie that was pretty amazing. Reminiscent of a snickers bar but better. So good that I am showing you two photos of it. I think desserts are probably the only area where you shine with pride when someone says "it looks as if you bought it in a shop." But, if you are thinking about making it, keep in mind that it is very, very rich - a sliver as shown in the picture is plenty. The recipe came from Bon Appetit magazine (January 09), and is the first thing I have made since I got a subscription for my birthday (thanks Dave and Weeza!). And incidentally, if you are using a Bon Appetit recipe, I have just noticed that they have a "ask the test kitchen" button at the bottom of their recipes, in case you have any problems. Nifty.

1. Crust
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 1/4 cups plain flour
5 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
125g chilled unsalted butter, diced
1 large egg, separated
2 (or more) teaspoons ice water
2. Filling
125g unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup pouring cream
1/3 cup honey
1 cup lightly salted dry-roasted peanuts
1 cup icing sugar
1/3 cup creamy (smooth) natural peanut butter (made with only peanuts and salt)*
2 tablespoons plus 1 to 2 teaspoons milk
3. Ganache Glaze
180g bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons lightly salted dry-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Spray 27cm square or 30cm diameter tart pan with removable bottom with nonstick spray. Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor 5 seconds. Add butter and blend until coarse crumbs form. Add egg yolk and 2 teaspoons ice water. Blend until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into square or disk (depending on shape of pan). Wrap and chill 1 hour (you can do this up to 1 day ahead).
Roll out dough to 27-30cm square or round. Transfer dough to prepared pan. Cut off all but 1.5 cm of overhang. Fold overhang in, creating double-thick sides. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake crust until pale golden, checking every 5 minutes and pressing bottom if bubbling and pressing sides up with back of fork if slipping, about 28 minutes.
Beat egg white in small bowl until foamy. Brush some white over hot crust to coat inside. Bake 1 minute longer. Cool on rack. Increase oven temperature to 375°F.
Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in brown sugar and salt, then cream and honey. Bring to rolling boil, swirling pan occasionally. Boil 1 minute. Whisk in 1 cup peanuts. Pour filling into crust. Bake tart until filling is bubbling thickly, about 15 minutes. Cool on rack until firm, about 2 hours; freeze 15 minutes.

Beat icing sugar and peanut butter in medium bowl until blended. Gradually beat in 2 tablespoons milk, then more by teaspoonfuls to thin slightly; spread evenly over peanut filling. Refrigerate tart while preparing glaze.
ganache glaze
Place chocolate in medium bowl. Bring cream to simmer in small saucepan; pour over chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Spread glaze over tart. Sprinkle chopped peanuts around edge. Chill tart until glaze sets, at least 1 hour.
Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving. Using tip of small knife, gently loosen crust from pan. Push up pan bottom, releasing tart. Cut square tart in half and cut each half crosswise into 7 or 8 slices or cut round tart into wedges.


Rene said...

Suzie, what a great recipe. I'm going to try it this weekend. Here is one I orginally made for a Thanksgiving Dinner, but the kids love it for "dinert"...i say it's dinner, they say its dessert. Their name? "Yummy Mummy Cups of Love". Second best thing: the house smells terrific!

6 sweet potatoes, unpeeled
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinammon
6 large oranges (heavy for their size)
48 mini-marshmallows
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cover sweet potatoes with cold water in a pot and boil until fork tender. Peel the potatoes, transfer to a bowl, and mash. Stir in butter, orange juice, and vanilla, cinammon and mix until fluffy.

For the orange shells, cut each orange in half and scoop out the pulp using a small knife or grapefruit spoon. Reserve the pulp for another use.

Fill each orange shell with the potato mixture and top off with the marshmallows. Bake until hot and the marshmallows are melted.

Some will add pecans, but we like them smooth.

Suzie said...

Wow - thanks Rene. We will have to give this a try when the weather gets cooler. (And I will have to try and overcome my Australian aversion to putting marshmallows and sweet potatoes together!) XXX

Anonymous said...

I'm drooling, what a delicious looking pie! I'll definitely try it out.

Kevin said...

That looks amazing!

Patty said...

This sounds divine....can you send me over some? xxx