Pies 6: Chocolate-Peanut Butter and Key Lime

2007-10-19

Our final class began with a lot of activity as there were a lot of ingredients in the crusts for both pies. My job was to finely chop peanuts, which I spent almost a half hour doing. It took a long time (and with an unfamiliar knife) and I grumbled about not having a food processor at hand. Our instructor was clearly unfamiliar with the recipes and he admitted he had not made one of the pies before.

Key Lime PieIn his demo, he discovered that in order for the graham crust for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie to hold together, it required three times the indicated quantity of melted butter! The yield was also twice the amount we needed, another example of waste at the school. We also made a fancy crust for the Key Lime Pie that included oatmeal, coconut and chopped walnuts, certainly not traditional. It was very wet even though we let it sit for a while to let the oatmeal absorb some of the egg.

To make the choco-PB filling, we first made a batch of real whipped cream, then whipped cream cheese and peanut butter together until it was very pale and light, then added powdered sugar and a bit of milk. We let that chill while we turned our attention to the key lime pie. The filling was the traditional combination of condensed milk and lime juice (both fresh and bottled), but we didn't use any eggs; instead, we used gelatin to set it and added whipped cream to, uh, I don't know why we added cream.

Chocolate Peanut-Butter PieAfter Chef took our prebaked crusts out of the oven, we let them cool and filled the coconut one with the key lime filling and put it in the freezer to set up. We mixed whipped cream into our chocolate peanut butter filling, then poured that into the other baked shells into which we first sprinkled mini chocolate chips. Once that pie was partially set, we poured ganache over top, and sprinkled chopped peanuts and more chocolate chips.

This class felt quite haphazard but I didn't really care as I was just happy to be finished with it. We had a long half hour break while the pies set in the freezer, but mine didn't survive the trip home that well. The filling partially sloshed out of the key lime pie. Both pies were excellent. The peanut butter and chocolate flavours provided the sweet-salty flavours and the cream cheese gave it a bit of tanginess. I can't imagine making this pie again, as it is just so full of fat. As for the key lime pie, the filling tasted fine, but I didn't enjoy the crust. At home, I would grind the ingredients up a bit more; actually, at home, I would have just made a standard graham crust.

Again, as with previous classes, I didn't feel that I learned that much from this course. The very first pie we made, the one with the phyllo crust was definitely interesting, but none of these classes introduced any new technique that I couldn't have learned on my own.

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