Caramel Peanut Butter Pie

1 1/2 cups pretzels
2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
Caramel Sauce:
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup roasted salted peanuts
1/3 cup crème fraiche
1 1/4 cups smooth peanut butter
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pecans, optional

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Pulse pretzels in food processor until semi-finely ground (or chop pretzels by hand).
Drizzle in melted butter until coarse mixture comes together. Turn out into a 9 or 10-inch pie plate and use your hands to firmly press pretzels into a packed crust.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until dry and set. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook 1 1/3 cups sugar with 1/3 cup water to begin your caramel sauce.
Stirring frequently, cook for about 10 minutes, or until mixture is a dark, amber color.
Remove from heat and add heavy cream. Be careful, as mixture will bubble up.
Return to heat and bring to a boil. Stir continuously so caramel cooks evenly and becomes smooth again.
Pour into a bowl and stir in crème fraiche. Refrigerate 35-45 minutes, or until chilled, then mix in peanuts.
For filling: In a large bowl or mixer, beat together peanut butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until pale, fluffy and smooth.
Gradually add in sugar, vanilla extract and sea salt, and beat until fully incorporated.
In a separate medium bowl, beat heavy cream until soft-medium stiff peaks form.
Spoon 1/3 cup peanut butter mixture into heavy cream and fold it in. Then return 1/3 cup heavy cream into peanut butter and fold in to incorporate.
Repeat with remaining heavy cream in 1/3 cup increments.
Remove crust and sauce from refrigerator and pour caramel sauce in an even layer over the crust.
Then use a rubber spatula to smooth peanut butter mousse over the caramel sauce. Make sure they don ‘t blend together. Refrigerate 30-40 minutes, or until set.
Garnish with whipped cream and pecans if desired, and serve chilled.

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