If you think that isn't a mouthful, I've got some property to sell ya! The same applies if you think that just because something says "gluten free" that means it's healthy. (I shudder to think of the calorie content in this amazing concoction.) But before I get into tonight's story, I'd like to start off by thanking my sister--the mastermind behind this blog--for suggesting this recipe. I planned on going in a different direction, but as of 3pm this afternoon, I'd experienced a paradigm shift and decided chocolate was in order. Okay, so it wasn't really a paradigm shift, per se, but the chocolate was a necessity. Period.
I'm not even going to go into the flavor of this dessert. I mean come on: chocolate, peanut butter, pudding; need I say more? Actually, yes. I do need to say that the piece I cut was too large. The richness didn't catch up with me until half a bite too late, so I recommend you have a cup o' Joe close!
Technically, I experienced some challenges. I know, you totally can't tell, but it's TRUE! Before I get into those, though, here a word to the wise: do not attempt this recipe unless you are armed with an excellent food processor/chopper, a very sharp butcher knife, or a LOT of patience. I had none of the above. That reminds me--I need GOOD knives. Anybody have any suggestions? Or better yet, DONATIONS??? ;^}
My first challenge presented itself before I even made it to the kitchen. This recipe calls for "white vanilla baking chips". Has anyone heard of those? Because I haven't, and neither has my grocer, so I substituted white chocolate chips. (It seemed the logical thing to do, since the recipe-writer refers to pouring boiling hot cream over the PB and vanilla chips, letting it sit until the "chocolate" is melted. Say wha?)
My next issue was with the pie crust. I've noticed that whenever a DIY crumb-n-butter crust is involved, I'm always falling short of glory. I guess I'm not crushing stuff finely enough, because the crust never solidifies/congeals and falls apart when serving. Could have something to do with my very advanced crushing technique involving a Ziplock and a rolling pin.
Another problem arose with the pie filling because I wasn't QUITE precise enough to the instructions. Aside: one of these days I'm going to do everything exactly the way I'm supposed to! They say to cook the egg, sugar and half & half mixture for about a minute after it just begins to boil. I think I went about 30 seconds long, so when I poured my thickened mixture through a sieve over the chopped semisweet chocolate, too much of it stayed in the sieve. You see, when you cook egg too long, it solidifies. (Hey, maybe that's what I need in my pie crusts!) Since this is pudding pie and not chunky custard pie, pay close attention to how long the egg mixture is on the fire.
My final issue was in putting on the final layer, the peanut butter topping. After setting for a half hour, the chocolate filling was still a little soft, so I smoothed on the peanut butter mixture as gingerly as I could, which resulted in spotty coverage. Over all, I give myself a C-- on this one.
This process wasn't difficult, just time consuming. It would have taken less time if I had a better chocolate chopping method. Perhaps next time I'll just skip the pie part altogether and nibble the semisweet baking squares.