Peanut Butter Honeycomb Pie

The last day of 2011. Insanity.

Almost as insane as this pie. No, really. It is knock-your-socks-off good. If you plan to make this, make it for a crowd — as much as you won’t want to share, you really, really ought to. The only safe way to make this is knowing there will be none leftover.

I’m skipping ahead with this recipe to the dessert portion of my Mingle with Melt dinner party. Yesterday and today were back-to-back wow-factor recipes from the event. I sure know how to pick recipes 😉

If you’re catching up with the series that was this meal, thus far I’ve posted the Cream Cheese Penguins, Blue Cheese with Endive Scoops, Cheese-Stuffed Dates with Prosciutto, and Peppermint Oreo Truffles. So this was dessert #2, featuring Melt. TWENTY tablespoons of Melt, in fact. (If that’s not testament enough that this stuff can be used as a healthy substitute for butter, I don’t know what is!)

If you’re thinking, “Where’s the entree in that meal, dummy?”, you obviously either 1) don’t appreciate my attempt at photographing the best pie (ever?), and/or 2) don’t like peanut butter (for realz?).

This pie was epic (and I don’t use that word lightly!). I literally skipped over the risotto entree (with LOBSTER!) to post this pie. The second I saw it on Joanne’s blog, it was bookmarked.

My mom and I making this pie, particularly the honeycomb, was also epic…almost an epic fail. My mother was certain I was about to either give myself third degree burns, and/or ruin her kitchen floor. When the recipe says that the baking soda will cause the honeycomb to foam up…that is no joke. Use a big pot…the biggest one you’ve got.

And let’s do everyone a favor and just pretend there’s no nutrition information below for this recipe. No, really. Don’t look. It’s a treat to be enjoyed on the very rare and special occasion.

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Peanut Butter Honeycomb Pie adapted from Bon Appetit August 2011 and Eats Well With Others

Pie:
9 sheets of graham crackers, coarsely crushed
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
6 Tbsp butter, melted (I subbed in Melt)
8 large egg yolks
12 Tbsp sugar, divided
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 Tbsp vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla bean
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (I subbed in Melt)
1 cup creamy natural peanut butter
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 oz bittersweet chocoalte
2 Tbsp unsalted butter (I subbed in Melt)
1/4 honeycomb (recipe below)

Honeycomb:
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tbsp corn syrup
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp baking soda, sifted

Directions:

For the crust, preheat the oven to 325 F.

Finely grind graham crackers, brown sugar, salt, and nutmeg in a food processor. Transfer crumb mixture to a medium bowl. Add melted butter and stir to blend. Use bottom and sides of a measuring cup to pack crumbs onto bottom and up sides of 9″ glass or metal pie pan. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

For the filling, mix yolks and 6 tablespoons sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat at high speed until ribbons form, stopping once to scrape down sides of bowl, about 2 minutes.

Combine milk and remaining 6 tablespoons sugar in a large saucepan. Scrape in vanilla bean paste or seeds from vanilla bean and add. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. With mixer running, gradually add hot milk mixture to yolk mixture. Scrape mixture back into pan. Clean bowl. Whisking constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove pan from heat. Whisk vigorously for 1 minute. Return custard to mixing bowl. Beat on high speed until cool, about 4 minutes. Mix in softened 12 tablespoons butter, one tablespoon at a time. Add peanut butter, powdered sugar, and salt. Beat to blend. Scrape filling into cooled crust and smooth the top. Chill until set, 2-3 hours.

Meanwhile, prepare the honeycomb. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Combine sugar, corn syrup, honey, and 1/4 cup water in a heavy deep pot. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high. Bring to a boil. Cook without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until sugar turns pale amber. Working quickly, add baking soda (mixture will foam up dramatically). Whisk quickly just to combine. Immediately pour candy over prepared sheet (do not spread out). Let stand undisturbed until cool, about 20 minutes. Hit candy in several places with the handle of a knife to crack it.

Stir chocolate and remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a medium bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Drizzle some of the chocolate glaze over the peanut butter filling, making a circle in the middle of the pie and leaving a 1-2 inch plain border. Pile pieces of honeycomb on top. Drizzle remaining chocolate glaze over. Yield: one 9-inch pie, serves 12.

Nutrition Information (per slice): 478 calories; 32.3 g. fat; 145 mg. cholesterol; 554 mg. sodium; 43.2 g. carbohydrate; 2.1 g. fiber; 8.3 g. prptein

(If made with regular butter: 511 calories; 36 g. fat; 145 mg. cholesterol; 407 mg. sodium; 43.2 g. carbohydrate; 2.1 g. fiber; 8.3 g. protein)

Result: This pie was the highlight of the meal. The Melt worked beautifully in place of butter which not only dropped the calories per slice by 33 calories, but was 3.7 grams lower in fat and the fat that remained was far less saturated and included heart-healthy mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids. I figure, if I’m going to splurge THIS much on dessert, there has to be an upside! But really, everyone loved this pie and a small piece is all you need. I think this could even be stretched to 14 or even 16 slices if you can get them to cut that thin 😉 Enjoy!

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There is Illini basketball and football on today — a big day for the die-hard University of Illinois fans out there! As for NYE plans, I have none and I’m also pretty excited about that. I’m such an old lady at heart!

P.S. Thanks for all the congrats on my new job! I really appreciate it!

Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy 2012!

Happy New Year,

Share With Your Friends!

14 Comments

  1. December 31, 2011 / 7:46 am

    Man I miss this pie. I was definitely sweating bullets when the baking soda caused extreme foaming…I was pretty sure I was going to end up with honeycomb all over my floor.

    What a great way to end 2011! And congrats on the new job love…SO happy for you!

  2. Layla Bowen
    December 31, 2011 / 8:42 am

    Congratulations! I can attest to how nice it is to work closer to home (but you know Kara will never forgive you!)

    • Nicole
      Author
      December 31, 2011 / 8:57 am

      Thanks, Layla! I was hoping to see you last night! It was a blast. And Kara, oh Kara…I know she won’t ever let me hear the end of it. She says at least once a week how much she wants you to come back 😉 Happy New Year!!

  3. December 31, 2011 / 9:48 am

    This looks insanely good. Honeycomb is one of the things I still have yet to make. Maybe 2012 will be the year.

  4. December 31, 2011 / 10:37 am

    Your pie looks amazing! Very beautifully done. I’m intrigued by Melt,..going to have to keep an eye out for it. Happy New Year!

  5. December 31, 2011 / 11:47 am

    OMG. Nicole, this pie sounds/looks like heaven. I’m tempted to run out and get the ingredients right now for a potluck I’m going to night…hmm, enticing. Happy New Year! Also, yay on the new job! Glad you’ll have a better schedule for the new year.

  6. December 31, 2011 / 6:22 pm

    holy freaking crap this looks amazing! I haven’t tried to make honeycomb before either, sounds scary! ha

  7. December 31, 2011 / 6:52 pm

    Yep, another insulin worthy dessert Nicole! We are doing a low key NYE too – I have wine chilling, I plan on doing a bay scallop gratin over pasta, and just relaxing – after working out this afternoon I’ve been in my p.j.s all day!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  8. January 1, 2012 / 12:51 pm

    Holy Moses this pie looks out of this world!

  9. January 1, 2012 / 7:44 pm

    That is one pie I’ve had my eye on since it showed up in BA 🙂 So impressed!

  10. January 1, 2012 / 11:28 pm

    at least ILLINOIS won the football game, I am pretty sure they lost bball. Congrats again on the new job – how exciting!!

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