I have no idea what to call this pie. Other than life-changing, that is.
The idea of making a pie crust used to terrify me. I knew that it involved a food processor, which I owned, but couldn’t put together. Seriously. The directions were so confusing. But then, I found a way around it for an easy crust you can make in a bowl. More details on that later.
By the way, I know how to use my food processor now. But whatever. What makes this pie so amazing is peanut butter caramel. Salted peanut butter caramel. Yes, that exists. And it’s easy to make!
What was life like before people knew about salted caramel? Or sushi? Or cake pops that you put in the freezer and eat when they’re super cold?
I really, really have a thing for the freezer. Some people put baked goods into the freezer as a deterrent. Not me. I put baked goods in the freezer, wait a couple of hours, and then start gnawing away. Frozen cheesecake is the best. Frozen brownies are even fudgier than those at room temp. Now that it’s getting hot out, everything I bake (except cookies or giveaway treats) goes straight into the freezer. I strongly encourage you to give it a shot!
If you’ve decided that I’m crazy at this point, I’m okay with that. Liking things a certain way is my right, and if you care to judge, go right ahead. I won’t say anything to you if you’re wearing flats, though I might judge you privately. How do people wear flats? I would like to, in theory. They just make my calves look huge. And my legs look shorter. And maybe I just have a high arch, because heels are more comfy cozy.
If there’s one thing we can agree on, I hope, it’s that pie crust should be easy to make. The recipe below uses melted butter instead of cubed cold butter, which is more standard. This crust can be made in a bowl in less than five minutes, and if you aren’t into the chocolate flavor, just omit the cocoa. I hope this cures you of your pie crust fears forever. Amen.
Now, I had to make this pie crust chocolate to accommodate the happiness that comes next. The first layer of filling is a very simple, thick ganache. It looks almost like a brownie, doesn’t it? But nope, it’s ganache, made purposely on the heavier side to give the pie more heft.
Layered on top is my favorite part: salted peanut butter caramel. This stuff is so simple to make that it’s almost not a recipe. Ready? You take one cup of peanut butter and melt it with a can of SCM (that’s sweetened condensed milk for you laypeople out there) until it’s smooth. Donesies! And then I sprinkle coarse sea salt on top.
All of this comes together, gets chilled in the fridge, and you’re done. And for all this effort (i.e., almost none at all), you get some seriously impressive pie. Might I say, brilliant pie. And if you want to eat it all right away, great. But if not, freeze it! I’m telling you, people. Wave of the future!
- Preheat the oven to 350. Coat a 10-inch pie pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter with the sugar, salt and vanilla until blended. Stir in the cocoa. Add the flour gradually and mix until a dough forms. If the dough is too soft, let it sit for a few minutes.
- Press the dough into the prepared pie pan, working it evenly along the bottom and up the sides. Bake for 15-20 minutes until firm and slightly puffy.
- While the dough is baking, make the ganache. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips and heavy cream for one minute and 30 seconds. Stir until smooth.
- Pour the ganache into the baked pie shell, spreading it out evenly. Place in the refrigerator to set.
- While the ganache is setting, make the peanut butter caramel. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the peanut butter with the sweetened condensed milk until smooth and well blended.
- Pour the peanut butter caramel over the ganache and chill the entire pie until firm.
- Right before serving, sprinkle coarse sea salt over the top. Cut into wedges and serve!