Peanut Butter–Chocolate Pie

There's a general rule among Reese's Peanut Butter Cup aficionados that you always buy the seasonal releases (hearts for Valentine's, eggs for Easter, pumpkins for Halloween, etc.) because they are the most recently made and are, thus, the "freshest." This may be why I love them so much: the first ones I ever ate were the peanut butter eggs sold for Easter. The chocolate-to–peanut butter ratio leaned more in favor of the peanut butter filling, crumbly and smooth at the same time, with a chocolate shell, soft and tender in that way that only mass-produced milk chocolate can get. Other kids could keep their gooey Creme Eggs and technicolor marshmallow birds—all I wanted were those peanut butter eggs.Today, I've graduated to a different brand of peanut butter cups (one with darker chocolate and freshly ground peanut butter filling, topped with crunchy flakes of salt), which serves as the inspiration for this decadent peanut butter–chocolate pie. The pie uses a peanut butter pudding as the filling, and the top is a simple dark chocolate ganache mottled with flaky sea salt. The crust is a from-scratch version of a chocolate cookie crust that's typically made with those impossibly thin Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers that always seem to be out of stock at my neighborhood market.Instead of asking you to go on a wild goose chase for those cookies, this crust comes together with ingredients you're bound to have in your pantry: flour, cocoa, sugar, butter, and salt, which you blend together, bake until it's crunchy and fragrant, then simply blitz and toss it with a little extra butter. With the smooth, nutty peanut butter filling, glistening ganache, and salty roasted peanuts on top, this pie evokes all the sweetness of a childhood memory, delivered in the form of an elegant, nuanced dessert that adults will want to savor.

Peanut Butter–Chocolate Pie
Photo: Antonis Achilleos
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs
8 to 10



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (about 4 1/4 ounces)

  • 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (6 ounces), divided


  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 5 large egg yolks

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • 2 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


  • 1/4 cup honey-roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

  • 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt


  1. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 325°F. Whisk together flour, cocoa, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and kosher salt in a large bowl. Melt 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the butter in a heatproof bowl. Pour melted butter over dry ingredients, and stir with a spoon until mixture forms rough clumps. Using your fingers, continue kneading mixture until no loose dry ingredients remain.

  2. Spread flour mixture out on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven until fragrant and dried out, about 20 minutes, stirring once after 10 minutes. Transfer baking sheet to a rack, and let cool completely.

  3. Transfer cooled crumbs to a food processor; pulse until finely ground. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a heatproof bowl. Pour melted butter over crumbs in food processor; pulse until crumbs are evenly moistened. Scrape crumbs into a 9-inch pie pan, and press evenly over bottom and up sides. Bake at 325°F until crust is set, about 12 minutes. Let cool while you make the filling.

  4. Make the filling: Combine brown sugar, cornstarch, and kosher salt in a medium saucepan; whisk to combine. Add egg yolks, and whisk into a smooth, thick paste. Add milk, and whisk until smooth. Heat over medium, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring often, until mixture bubbles and thickens into a pudding, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth. Immediately scrape filling into cooled crust, and spread filling evenly, smoothing the top. Let pie stand while you make the ganache topping.

  5. Make the ganache: Place chopped chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Bring cream to a simmer in a small saucepan (or microwave in a heatproof bowl). Immediately pour hot cream over chocolate, and let stand 1 minute. Using a spoon positioned in center of mixture, stir slowly until ganache emulsifies into a shiny sauce. Pour sauce over top of pie; pick up pie and tilt it gently to allow the ganache to evenly cover the filling. Sprinkle peanuts over pie, and chill until filling and ganache are set, at least 2 hours. Before serving, sprinkle pie with sea salt. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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