Okay, so our definition of what constitutes a “pie” is a little fuzzy, haha. Last year we made a Pineapple Pizza for Pi Day and this year we ventured into tart territory with a Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart. If there’s one thing we know about math, it’s that you don’t need to be exact, right? As long as you can do fractions with it (i.e. let’s eat one half of this tart now and one half later) it counts as pie in our book! **NPR’s Sporkful podcast delves into the true definition of a pie if you really want to get the low down.
We turned to our favorite food blogger Smitten Kitchen for our Pi(e) day recipe and of course substituted fair trade ingredients where we could. We used Wholesome Sweeteners powdered and raw sugar, fair trade salt, Equal Exchange chocolate chips and a bit of Theo Chocolate for good measure.
You can’t go wrong with the classic chocolate and peanut butter combo, but this recipe uses cream cheese in the filling which gives it a hint of tang, and the fair trade chocolate gives it a delightful decadence. You really don’t need more than a thin slice, say about 1/16th of the pie – look, we’re doing math 😉
This pie is also a good and natural alternative to the ever-present girl scout cookies that stare us in the face at every corner this time of year. Their Tagalongs are definitely a tempting dessert, but make this pie instead and your tastebuds will thank you!
2 5.3-ounce shortbread cookie packages (we used Walkers)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar (We used Wholesome Sweeteners)
1/4 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt
3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (adjust slightly as needed to make crust hold together)
Peanut Butter Filling
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup powdered or confectioners’ sugar (We used Wholesome Sweeteners)
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (We used Equal Exchange)
A pinch of salt
1/2 cup heavy cream or half & half
Flaky sea salt, to finish (optional)
Make the crust: Heat oven to 350°F. Use a food processor to finely grind cookies, sugar and salt. Add in melted butter and process until clumpy. Take a handful of mixture and press it firmly into 9-inch round tart pan with removable bottom. Continue until bottom and side are covered and firmly packed. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake until crust is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Pop crust into the freezer for 15 minutes while you make the filling.
Make the filling: Beat the cream cheese, butter, sugar, peanut butter, salt and vanilla in a large bowl until fluffy. Our immersion blender did the trick, but you could use a standard electric mixer. Use a spatula to scrape the mixture into the tart crust shell and smooth it out. Chill this in the freezer for another 10 minutes while you make the chocolate topping.
Make the topping: Heat the chocolate, pinch of salt, and cream in a small saucepan or the microwave. Chocolate can burn pretty easily so keep an eye on the melting process. When it’s smooth, let it cool for 5 minutes then pour it over the peanut butter filling and spread it smooth. The tart is edible now, but it’s better when chilled and is much easier to cut. We popped it into the freezer for another 15 minutes and it was good to go!
Enjoy, and be sure to cut into fractions so you can share!