Sunday, February 13, 2011
PIE #8 - SNICKERS BAR PIE
As I had mentioned in a previous blog, my husband loves chocolate. He also loves peanuts. Most of all, he loves chocolate and peanuts together, and what could be a better amalgamation of those two ingredients than the famous Snickers candy bar?
Introduced in 1930 by Frank C. Mars of the now giant Mars candy corporation, Snickers has since become the best-selling candy bar of all time. The Snickers bar alone accounts for nearly two billion dollars of Mars annual sales. So get ready to contribute to the Snickers sales total. This recipe calls for just two cups of chopped Snickers bars. It won't break your budget but it probably will break your diet!
For starters, the crust is made with pure shortening. The filling has all the ingredients for a diet downfall: egg yolks, whole milk, butter and peanut butter. And to add a few more calories to the growing count, the pie's crowning glory is heavy whipped cream piled a mile high and garnished with Snickers pieces and peanuts.
But who cares? This isn't a blog about losing weight. It's all about mastering pies and bringing joy to loved ones when you present them with an enticing slice of pure bliss. And speaking of mastering, this recipe's crust was my second attempt at rolling out pastry. My lemon meringue crust shrunk if you recall from a previous blog. This time my crust didn't shrink. Instead, it cracked. Using shortening alone rather than a butter/shortening mix did yield a flakier crust. However, mine was almost too flaky. When slicing the pie, the edge of the crust crumbled.
Thankfully the filling made up for my less-than-perfect crust. The addition of peanut butter in the custard elevated the pie from decent to decadent. If you really want to amp up the swoon factor, substitute a chocolate cookie crumb crust for the pastry crust. This combination of chocolate and peanut butter will satisfy those with the fiercest sweet tooth.
Do you think if Frank C. Mars were alive to see his famous candy bar as a pie ingredient, he might "snicker"?
SNICKERS BAR PIE
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
1/4 cup cold water
2 cups of bite-size Snickers bars, cut in half
Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Toss well by hand to mix. Scatter the shortening over the dry ingredients and toss to mix. Using a pastry blender or a fork, cut the shortening into the flour until it is a consistency of coarse meal with both large and small clumps. Sprinkle half of the water over the mixture. Toss well with a fork to dampen the mixture. Add the remaining water and continue to toss and mix, pulling the mixture up from the bottom of the bowl on the upstroke and gently pressing down on the downstroke until the dough coheres.
Using your hands, pack the pastry into a ball as you would pack a snowball. Knead the ball once or twice, then flatten the ball into a 3/4-inch-thick disk on a floured work surface. Wrap the disk in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight before rolling.
On a sheet of lightly floured waxed paper, roll the pastry into a 13-inch circle with a floured rolling pin. Invert the pastry over a 9-inch pie pan, center, and peel off the paper. Tuck the pastry into the pan, without stretching it, and sculpt the edge so it is just slightly higher than the rim. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove and line pastry shell with foil and place dried beans or pie weights into foil to prevent pastry from puffing up during baking. Pre-bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove foil, beans or pie weights and then prick the pastry all over the bottom with a fork. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue to bake the pie shell for 10-12 minutes. Watch carefully. If the pie shell starts to puff up, prick the problem spot with a fork. Remove from oven and cool. Scatter the Snickers pieces evenly in the pie shell.
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium-size saucepan, whisking to mix. Add the milk and egg yolks, whisking the mixture well. Place over medium heat and cook, whisking virtually nonstop, until the mixture comes to a boil, 5-7 minutes. Reduce the heat slightly and continue to cook, whisking nonstop, for about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and peanut butter, stirring until melted. Add the vanilla extract and stir until incorporated. Immediately pour the filling into the cooled pie shell making sure the filling oozes between the Snickers pieces. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly over the filling, taking care not to leave any gaps or air pockets, to prevent a skin from forming. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature then refrigerate for at least five hours to thoroughly chill.
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Snickers bar pieces or chopped peanuts for garnish (optional)
Just before serving, make the topping. Using a chilled mixer bowl and chilled beaters, beat the cream with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the confectioner's sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Spread or pipe the whipped cream over the pie. Garnish with Snickers pieces or chopped peanuts, if desired.