This gluten free peanut butter pie has an easy press-in gluten free shortbread crust, a smooth and creamy no-bake peanut butter pie filling, and is topped with a simple chocolate ganache. It’s perfect for potlucks, or say, a Tuesday!
When faced with the prospect of a recipe for a no-bake pie filling like in this lovely peanut butter pie, I have one hard-and-fast rule: no Cool Whip. It’s not that I don’t adore a dollop of properly thawed Cool Whip perched atop a perfect slice of pie. It’s just that using it as a crutch for a no-bake pie filling makes my teeth (and my heart) hurt.
Is it because, as a child, there were one too many strawberry yogurt pies made with a container of Cool Whip and a big container of strawberry yogurt, poured into a premade graham cracker crust and chilled? Perhaps.
This peanut butter pie might very well have begun as an excuse to do two things: try out my new favorite press-in shortbread crust (so easy! so delicious!), and bring back the magic of Girl Scout Cookies even though the season has come and gone.
Oh, and I’m rereading Mindy Kaling’s book Why Not Me? In it, when she talks about her body image (such a good role model for young girls and, well, absolutely everyone, that one is) she says something about how she simply can’t conceive of saying “no” when offered a Girl Scout Tagalong.
She just doesn’t see the point. It’s not that she thinks she has the absolute perfect body or anything. She just sees her body as a compromise between looking good and enjoying food.
It goes without saying (which never stops me from saying anyway) that you can make this with a cookie crumb crust (instructions below) or of course a classic gluten free pie crust. But I’m going to have to draw the line at no-crust-at-all.
The filling is a bit too creamy to stand completely on its own. If you’re just not willing to do any manner of crust (did I not convince you how easy the press-in shortbread crust is?), I’d pipe the filling into mason jars, top with the ganache, chill and serve as parfaits or something.
I haven’t tried this nut-free Sunbutter, and I’m not terribly optimistic that it would set up, I’m afraid. Sunbutter is really quite thin. I’d assume the same thing with Nutella. But a no-stir smooth almond butter like Barney Butter would no doubt go off without a hitch.
And by no stir, since that term always seems to stir up some controversy, I mean the kind of nut butter that doesn’t have a thick layer of nut oil on top when it’s brand new. I like Skippy Natural Creamy Peanut Butter (affiliate link), but if you have another favorite brand go with that.
And don’t forget your promise to include some sort of cookie-type crust. The combination of lightly sweet, creamy peanut butter filling, a slightly crisp cookie crust and rich chocolate ganache is just too perfect to deny.
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
1/4 cup (36 g) cornstarch (or try arrowroot)
1 cup (115 g) confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
10 tablespoons (140 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon lukewarm water, plus more as necessary
For the filling
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (115 g) confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (256 g) smooth, no-stir peanut butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the chocolate topping
6 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream
Coarse salt, for sprinkling
*In place of the shortbread crust, you can make a cookie crumb crust by combining 1 1/2 cups (225 g) gluten free crunchy cookie crumbswith 6 tablespoons (84 g) of melted unsalted butter. Mix to combine well and then press into the prepared pie plate. Chill until very firm before proceeding with the recipe.
Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease a deep 9-inch pie plate and set it aside.
To make the crust, in a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, confectioners’ sugar and salt, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter and 1 tablespoon water. Mix until the cookie dough is well-combined and smooth. If it feels stiff at all, add more water by the half-teaspoonful and mix until well-combined. Place the cookie dough in the prepared pie plate and press it, using a spoon and/or silicone spatula, into an even layer into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. The crust will shrink down the sides a bit as it bakes, so be sure to press it all the way up the sides of the plate. Place the pie plate in the freezer to chill until very firm while you prepare the filling. Once the dough is chilled, place the pie plate in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 8 minutes, or until just set in the center and very lightly golden brown on the edges. Do not overbake. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
To make the filling, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a large bowl with a handheld mixer, place the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar and salt, and beat until well-combined and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the peanut butter and vanilla, and beat until well-combined. The mixture will be creamy, thick and fluffy. Scrape the filling into the cooled pie crust and spread into an even layer with a moistened offset or silicone spatula. Place the filling in the freezer to chill while you prepare the chocolate topping.
To make the chocolate topping, place the chopped chocolate in a medium-size heat-safe bowl. Heat the cream in a small, heavy-bottom saucepan just until it begins to simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and allow the mixture to sit until the chocolate begins to melt. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour the topping over the chilled filling and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle very lightly with coarse salt. Refrigerate the pie, uncovered, until set (about an hour) before slicing and serving chilled.