There really is something about the French and their pastries. The professionally done ones in shops are always so delicate and like little works of art and you can barely stand to eat (I said barely). Then you have the home bakers who seems to just throw something together effortlessly, pop it in the oven, and pull something gorgeous and inspired out. I’m certainly no pastry expert but I like to think that with Famille Jolivet blood running through my veins I can claim a smidge of that talent but I have a long way to go.
When I bought my first tart pan a few years ago I experimented with numerous different kinds of crusts and fillers before finding Dorie Greenspan’s French Pear Tart recipe. The recipe looked complicated, long, and intimidating but the results looked well worth it. I’ve since made it a few times and each time time its been absolutely fantastic. There is a lot of effort that goes into into this tart but it will show in the final product, I promise you. I don’t have any changes or edits to Dorie’s recipe, she has far perfected it.
French Pear Tart after cooling but pre-powdered sugar.
The first time I ever heard of Peanut Butter Pie was when I asked my ex what he wanted me to make him for his birthday the first year we were together. He insisted he disliked cakes, tarts, and sweets in general (shocking that didn’t work out) but when pressed he said he wanted his mom’s Peanut Butter Pie. I assumed this was some sort of secret family recipe that had been passed down through generations but when I called his mom she laughed saying she got the recipe off of a box or something like that. She promptly emailed it to me, copied below.
Ex’s mom had a recipe for a crust but said not to bother and just to buy a store bought graham cracker or chocolate crust. My expectations were fairly low as it just seemed a little too easy and simple but boy was I wrong. I have since made this pie numerous times for both casual potlucks to nicer dinners (single servings kick it up a notch). I used Ina Garten’s pie crust recipe for this round as I had some left over from a previous project but if you are making a single pie I would go with the store bought graham cracker crust. So quick, easy, and delicious. Yum.
Mom’s Peanut Butter Pie
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup 10X (confectioners) sugar
3 oz. Cream cheese
8 oz. Cool Whip
Hershey’s Syrup for drizzling
Blend well first 3 ingredients. Stir in Cool Whip. Pour in graham cracker crust. Layer with Hershey’s Syrup. Top with Cool Whip. Drizzle syrup over top.