I was on the web (as always) the other day googling something about peanuts (or peanut brittle, or french burnt peanuts), when this recipe title caught my eye. One click and I immediately started checking to see if I had the ingredients in my cupboard.
I eagerly started with the Honeycomb. Preparing honeycomb is very similar to making brittle, only you don’t have to keep a thermometer in the pot and wait for the sugar to get to the “hard-crack” stage. After you add the baking soda and pour it onto the baking sheet, it puffs up and turns a strange orange-ish color. As it cools it settles, but it still didn’t look like the pic, so being brave, I decided to wait until it was completely cool before freaking out. By the way, I didn’t think it tasted very good. It was like eating honey with burnt sugar. I actually made it twice, letting the sugar turn two different shades of pale amber, just to make sure I didn’t actually burn it. I didn’t. It just tastes that way (to me).
The crust and pie came together without any hitches. The only thing I did differently to the recipe was 1) I make the pie in a tart pan, and 2) I used vanilla paste since I didn’t have any bean on hand. You can always use extract, if you don’t have either. You just won’t have the natural “bean” look (so what).
After a couple of hours, I assembled the topping and started taking pics. Once I cut into the pie, it started to ooze a bit, so I put it back in the fridge to set, then forgot about it, so there aren’t any follow up pics of a nice firm pie. It’s ok, it wouldn’t have mattered what it looked like anyway because it was delicious. If you love peanut butter, you will love this pie.
Peanut Butter Honeycomb Pie
- 9 graham crackers, coarsley crushed
- 1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, melted
- 8 large egg yolks
- 12 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Honeycomb (recipe follows below)
- 1/4 cup roasted, salted peanuts
Make the crust: Preheat oven to 325°. Finely grind graham crackers, sugar, salt, and nutmeg in a food processor. Transfer crumb mixture to a medium bowl. Add butter and stir to blend. Use bottom and sides of a measuring cup to pack crumbs onto bottom and up sides of 9″ glass or metal pie pan. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
Make the filling: Mix yolks and 6 Tbsp sugar in the bowl of a stand mixers fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat at high speed until ribbons form, stopping once to scrape down sides of bowl, about 2 minutes.
Combine milk and remaining 6 Tbsp sugar in a large saucepan; scrape in seeds from vanilla bean and add bean. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove bean. With mixer running, gradually add hot milk mixture to yolk mixture. Scrape mixture back into pan. Clean bowl. Whisking constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove pan from heat; whisk vigorously for 1 minute. Return custard to mixing bowl, beat on high speed until cool, about 4 minutes. Mix in butter on Tbsp. at a time. Add peanut butter, powdered sugar, and salt; beat to blend. Scrape filling into cooled crust; smooth top. Chill until set, 2-3 hours.
Make the topping: Stir chocolate and butter in a medium bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth.
Drizzle some of the chocolate glaze over the peanut butter filling, making a circle in the middle of the pie and leaving a 1″-2″ plain border. Pile pieces of honeycomb and salted peanuts on top, then drizzle remaining chocolate glaze over.
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon baking soda, sifted
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Combine sugar, corn syrup, honey, and 1/4 cup water in a heavy deep saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high; bring to a boil. Cook without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until sugar turns pale amber. Working quickly, add baking soda (mixture will foam up dramatically); whisk quickly just to combine. Immediately pour candy over prepared sheet (do not spread out). Let stand undisturbed until cool, about 20 minutes. Hit candy in several places with the handle of a knife to crack into pieces.