Saturday, March 14, 2009

Peanut Butter Pie for one please!

The weekend is here! I enjoy a productive Saturday morning when nothing is scheduled and I can catch up on cleaning, laundry, and of course BAKING! I have been craving peanut butter lately and decided mid week I would make a peanut butter pie this weekend.
After cleaning my kitchen floors this morning, the thought of crumbly pie crust flakes that result from cutting slices in a pie really made me cringe. (Slightly OCD...I know.) But seriously...does this bother anyone else? That is my biggest complaint with pies, lasagna, or casseroles. I HATE how they look once you start cutting into them! They fall apart, blend together, and just look down right MESSY.

Anyway, this is why I am a big fan of "individual serving sizes". I had the great idea of making "individual pies" rather then one large pie to cut down on the crumbly crust mess. :) These little treats turned out great. I plan to make them again the next time we entertain to keep my food more visually appealing. :)

The crust recipe comes from my grandma's recipe index (I copied it down and several others while staying with her a few weekends ago). The filling is simply "trial and error"- combining one block of cream cheese with enough peanut butter and sugar to make it yummy. :)

Individual Pie Crusts:
4 tablespoons butter, chilled
4 tablespoon shortening (Crisco), chilled
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling dough
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup ice water (or less- will not use full amount of water)

Directions for crusts:

Place butter and shortening (Crisco) in freezer for 15 minutes. When ready to use, remove and cut both into small pieces.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt by pulsing 3 to 4 times. Add butter and pulse 5 to 6 times until texture looks mealy. Add shortening(Crisco) and pulse another 3 to 4 times. Remove lid of food processor and add 2 tablespoon of water. Replace lid and pulse 5 times. Add 2 tablespoon more water and pulse again, repeating until mixture holds together when squeezed (I used 6 tablespoons total but amount may vary). Place mixture in large zip-top bag, squeeze together until it forms a ball, and then press into a rounded disk and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place one 12-cup muffin tin, well greased in the refrigerator to chill.
Remove dough from refrigerator. Unwrap and sprinkle both sides of dough with flour. Cover again with plastic and roll out with a rolling pin to a 11 to 12-inch circle. Open plastic again and sprinkle top of dough with flour. Using a 3 inch round cookie cutter, create 12 circles.
***I was able to get 8 rounds out of the first roll before gathering up scraps and rolling dough again into a circle.
Gently mold one dough circle into each of the 12 greased muffin cups. Poke holes in the dough with a fork and place in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Bake until golden in color, approximately 10 to 15 minutes (mine took 11 minutes). Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Let cool completely before filling.

Filling Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup peanut butter + 2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3-4 teaspoons milk
3 Reese Cups, crushed for topping (optional)

Directions for filling pies:
Whip cream with 1/4 cup sugar and set aside. Mix all other ingredients until smooth. Spoon mixture into individuals crusts (about 2 tablespoons per crust). Top with whipped cream. Microwave 2 tablespoons peanut butter for 1 minute (until melted). Drizzle melted peanut butter over individual pies and top each with crushed Reese Cups. Chill for several hours before serving. Makes 12 individual pies.

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