Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Pie with Pretzel Crunch
What attracted to me about this recipe was the Pretzel Crunch topping. So simple, yet so effective. And delicious! Why hadn’t I thought of that? Lucky for us, Holly Ricciardi from Magpie in Philly has brought us a book of the same name that offers all sorts of delectable pies. Here she begins with her signature Flaky Piecrust, fills it with a semisweet chocolate and peanut butter mousse, then there is a cloud of whipped cream and the final crown of sweet, salty Pretzel Crunch topping. For a savory pie, be sure to check out her Macaroni and Cheese Potpies, with – wait for it – Old Bay Cheez-It Crunch topping. Holly has a way with creative toppings that add flavor as well as texture.
Reprinted with permission from Magpie© 2015 by Holly Ricciardi, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.
It is no accident that this pie is reminiscent of the chocolate peanut butter–covered pretzels you can get at Chocolate by Mueller in Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market. Those are one of my favorite sweet treats; the sweet-salty crunch is perfectly balanced and just plain scrumptious.
- 4 ounces / 113 g thin pretzel sticks
- ⅓ cup / 60 g packed light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 7 tablespoons / 100 g unsalted butter, melted
- ½ recipe Magpie Dough for Flaky Piecrust, chilled overnight
- 1 (4-ounce / 113 g) bar semisweet chocolate
- ⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons / 91 g granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup / 158 ml whole milk, divided
- ¾ cup / 195 g creamy peanut butter
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
- 1½ cups / 355 ml heavy cream
- Lightly sweetened freshly whipped cream, for serving (optional)
- For the Pretzel Crunch: Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C) with a rack in the center. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, toss together the pretzels, sugar, and salt. Add the melted butter and toss until evenly coated. Spread the pretzels on the prepared baking sheet and bake 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Leave the pretzel crunch on the tray to cool completely to room tempera¬ture. Once cooled, break apart any large clusters. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
- For the Pie: Roll, pan, and flute the dough as directed, then follow the instructions to fully prebake the piecrust. Set the pan on a wire rack and let the shell cool to room temperature while you make the filling.
- To make the filling, coarsely chop the chocolate and set it aside in a large bowl.
- Combine the sugar and 7 tablespoons of the milk in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until steaming (do not boil). Whisk in the peanut butter until smooth.
- Take the pan off the heat and pour the hot milk mixture over the choc¬olate, whisking until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the salt.
- Pour the remaining milk (you’ll have about 3 to 4 tablespoons) into a small microwavable bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin onto the surface of the milk and let stand 5 minutes, then microwave at half power for 10 sec¬onds to ensure that the gelatin is dissolved (the mixture should feel smooth between your fingertips).
- Whisk the bloomed gelatin into the warm chocolate peanut butter mix¬ture. Set aside to cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to help cool the mixture evenly and prevent it from setting around the edges. (Don’t leave it sitting after it’s cooled or it will stiffen.) Whip the cream to medium peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture in thirds, mixing the last third just until no white streaks remain. Scoop the mousse into the prepared crust, smoothing the top. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight (at least 8 hours or up to 3 days) before slicing and serving.
- To serve the pie, cut into 8 equal slices, leaving the slices in the pan, then top the entire pie with pretzel crunch, pressing the topping lightly into the mousse. Use a pie server to slide each slice onto a serving plate. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.