Recipe: Peanut buttercup pie

Peanut Buttercup Pie
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 9" graham cracker pie shell (recipe follows)
  • Chocolate ganache topping (recipe follows)
  • 2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon salted peanuts chopped (reserve 1 teaspoon for plate decoration)
  • Whipped cream
  • Purchased chocolate sauce, place in a squeeze bottle
  • Chocolate powder such as Ghirardelli chocolate sweet ground chocolate and cocoa
  • Confectioners sugar
Preparation:
  1. Place peanut butter, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until mooth and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Set aside.

  2. In a separate chilled bowl, whip heavy cream until almost stiff. Fold a few spoonfuls of whipped cream into peanut butter mixture, then fold in remaining whipped cream, mixing well. Place in the prepared pie shell, making sure to smooth top of pie.

  3. Refrigerate for several hours.

  4. Spread chocolate ganache over top of the pie leaving about a 1 inch border of peanut butter filling showing through.

  5. Sprinkle ganache with 2 tablespoons of chopped peanuts. Refrigerate overnight.
To serve:
  1. Decorate the plate with a few swirling lines of chocolate sauce.

  2. Top with a slice of pie.

  3. Garnish the top of the pie with whipped cream and dust with chocolate powder and confectioners sugar.

  4. Sprinkle the plate with the 1 teaspoon of reserved peanuts.

  5. Store any remaining pie in the refrigerator.
Graham Cracker Pie Shell

Ingredients:
  • 1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 Tablespoons of melted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons of sugar
Preparation:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar in a bowl and stir together using a fork.

  3. Transfer to a 9" pie pan and press into pan with back of a spoon. Bake for about 8-9 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Chocolate Ganache Topping

Ingredients:
  1. 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
  2. ½ cup heaving whipping cream
Preparation:
  1. Chop semisweet chocolate into small pieces.

  2. Place whipping cream in saucepan and bring to a boil.

  3. Remove from heat and add chocolate to pan. Set aside for a few minutes. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
  4. Let cool a few more minutes before pouring over prepared pie.
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About Debbie Shahvar:

Debbie Shahvar had no intention of turning her love of cooking into a career, but her life, which reads a bit like a movie script, kept foreshadowing what was to come. Growing up, she spent hours poring over cookbooks and trying to make her creations look just like the pictures in her books.

She entered the restaurant business at the age of 15, and continued to wait tables through college while majoring in Journalism. One fateful day she spilled roast beef jus on the regional manager's brand new suit. What could have been a disaster, instead led her to her future husband and business partner.

When years later she and her husband David opened Buttercup Grill & Bar in June of 1988; Debbie was busy raising their three small children.

She would help out at the restaurant after dropping the kids off at school and before picking them up in the afternoon. But once again, fate played its hand.

While at the restaurant one day, Debbie tasted the soup and said: "I make better soup than that." So David suggested she give it a try.

Debbie's Minestrone was a big hit and phones rang off the hook with people calling to say it was the best minestrone they'd ever had.

That soup was followed by another, then an entrée, and a dessert, until Debbie was the sole recipe developer for the entire restaurant. For customers, it was the beginning of a lasting relationship with what came out of Debbie's kitchen, dishes based on traditional family favorites and home cooking.

Since its inception, Buttercup Grill & Bar was the kind of restaurant David and Debbie could go with their own children. They wanted a place where both adults and kids could get a delicious meal at a reasonable price. What they've accomplished is even bigger.

"We have people who eat here every day twice a day," Debbie says with pride. Debbie's motherly nature is no doubt one of the keys to the restaurant's success and the restaurant has become a kind of extended family for many.

Step into any Buttercup Grill & Bar, it is immediately apparent that Debbie loves to bake - the pastry case is practically bursting with pies and treats, including her signature Upside Down Apple Walnut Pie, a cross between Apple pie and Tarte Tatin. A voracious reader, Debbie finds inspiration for new dishes from the many food-related publications she peruses on a regular basis. Some of her favorite personalities are Jacques Pepin, Sara Moulton and the Barefoot Contessa.

When she is not cooking or reading, Debbie likes long walks, exercise and getting together with friends for food and wine. Even after spending all day in the kitchen she still lights up when talking about food, cautioning, "if you get me started I may never stop." She loves talking about how shortening makes for the flakiest pie crusts and how a specific blend of chocolate creates the richest tasting brownies.

Debbie, who is modest, will never let on that she has a James Beard-nominated cookbook: "Fast & Festive Meals for the Jewish Holidays,"' which she collaborated on with Marlene Sorosky Gray, but she intends to one day write a cookbook of her own. Her frequent guests look forward to it and the possibility of bringing a taste of Debbie's home cooking into their own kitchens.

For information about Buttercup Grill and Bar and for locations, visit www.buttercupgrillandbar.com

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