Peanut Butter Chess Stack Pie
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When my friends from Peanut Butter & Co. reached out with this fun idea for a Thanksgiving pie, I couldn’t resist. To be honest, I hadn’t heard of a stack pie before – but I thought this show-stopper was perfect for the holidays (and their delicious peanut butter). So, I bent my usual rules and picked up a few pre-made crusts (knowing how Thanksgiving baking can be daunting enough, especially when this pie is truly three pies in one) and never looked back. With a common base of a chess pie whipped up in the blender that is divided among three bowls of warmed peanut butter, this pie remains simple to put together. It serves a crowd and is worth the effort: a true centerpiece dessert that is an ode to peanut butter and my friends.
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Yield: 10-12 servings
2 (15-ounce) packages store-bought pie crusts (reserve 1 crust for another use)
1/2 cup Smooth Operator peanut butter, warmed
1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Dreams peanut butter, warmed
1/2 cup White Chocolate Wonderful peanut butter, warmed
2 cups plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 quart (4 cups) whipping cream, divided
8 large eggs
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
1 (12-ounce) bag bittersweet chocolate chips
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon powdered gelatin (from a 1/4-ounce envelope)
Chopped peanuts, for garnish
3 (9-inch) tart pans with removable bottoms
1. Preheat oven to 375°F with racks dividing the oven in upper and lower thirds. Unfurl each dough portion and transfer each to a tart pan; gently guide dough into the crease of the pan (without pressing it in or forcing it). Roll pin over top of tart pan to cut away excess. Repeat with remaining dough and transfer to refrigerator as they are prepared.
2. Prepare chess pie fillings: Place each peanut butter flavor in a medium bowl. In a blender jar, combine 2 cups sugar, 1 cup cream, eggs, cornmeal, extract and vinegar and blend until smooth. In a thin steady stream, whisk a third of the custard mixture into each of the three bowls of peanut butter (scant 1 1/2 cups each). Pour custards into prepared shells.
3. Transfer tarts to oven and bake 25 to 30 minutes. (These will puff and bubble in spots as they bake, but will collapse later as they cool.) Place tarts on baking racks to cool completely (about 1 hour).
4. While tarts cool, prepare ganache: place 1 1/2 cups cream and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate; let stand 5 minutes. Stir until smooth.
5. Transfer 1 tart to a serving plate or platter, slipping metal round from bottom of tart; spread with about 1/2 cup warm ganache. Firmly stack one of the remaining tarts on top of the frosted tart and spread with ganache. Repeat with the remaining tart.
6. Sprinkle gelatin over 1 tablespoon water in a small, microwave-safe bowl; let stand 5 minutes to thicken. Microwave mixture 10 seconds to liquefy. Whip remaining 1 1/2 cups cream and 3 tablespoons sugar with an electric mixer until soft peaks form; drizzle in gelatin mixture. Dollop whipped cream on top of pie and scatter with peanuts. Refrigerate pie until whipped cream is firm (at least 1 hour) before serving.