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    Posted March 8, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Pi Day pie-off

    More from cattroiano

    Celebrate Pi and Have a Pie


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     cattroiano says she had never heard of Pi Day 'before I stumbled across this assignment. This is one of the nice things about being a writer, you always get to learn something new every day. Since I have had a lifelong sweet tooth, I will have no problem at all with commemorating the occasion by baking at least one pie and savoring every last bite.'
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    I must confess that I was unacquainted with ‘Pi Day’ until this delectable assignment came my way. Admittedly my first thought gravitated in the direction of my lifelong aversion to mathematics; but wait, I read further. Pi Day is to be celebrated by indulging in a … pie? Well now, that’s different; that I can do! I need no excuse to take in some sweet delicacies, but since one is being offered it would seem improper to refuse.


    Since their 1920s union, as officiated by none other than H.B. Reese, the pairing of peanut butter and chocolate has steadfastly remained the perfect couple. Their unwavering marriage has proven sweet harmony in every incarnation, from the original Reese’s peanut butter cup to today’s ice cream parlor’s featured flavor.


    The most blissful presentation of this winning combination came our way at an island resort in Saint Thomas. When it was time to order dessert after a tantalizing tropical seafood repast, my husband and I both opted for the frozen peanut butter chocolate mousse pie. From the first spoonful, the flavor experience was sublime. By the time the last spoonful melted away on my taste buds, I had made a firm decision: I was going to duplicate that recipe at home, somehow, some way.


    I achieved success with my early attempts, the crispy chocolate cookie crumb crust was the easy step and the sinfully creamy frozen mousse filling was not too challenging either. Husband satiated and my own chocolaty peanut butter cravings appeased, mission was accomplished. Reruns have been requested and featured at least annually.


    Last summer I took the dessert to the next level by adding a layer of extreme crunch over the top, with the introduction of a combination of salted peanuts, shards of dark chocolate and chopped peanut butter cups. This final variation took the pie where no pie in my kitchen has gone before.




    14 chocolate graham crackers or chocolate wafers, ground in food processor
    1/3 cup sugar
    1 stick butter, melted
    1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
    1/4 cup melted semi-sweet chocolate
    1 can sweetened condensed milk
    1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    3 tablespoons sugar
    1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 Lindt dark chocolate bar, chilled, then broken into shards
    1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
    5 peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped


    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Thoroughly combine graham cracker crumbs, 1/3 cup sugar and melted butter. Press into bottom and up the sides of 8 or 9-inch pie dish. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.


    In a large mixing bowl, stir together the peanut butter, melted chocolate and condensed milk until well blended. In a mixer bowl with a wire whisk attachment, whip heavy cream, 3 tablespoons sugar and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream mixture into peanut butter mixture until well incorporated. Empty contents into prepared piecrust. Place in freezer for about twelve hours. In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients, and then cover the top of the frozen pie with this mixture.


    While the recipe should serve six, it never does seem to stretch that far in my house. No admirer of the all-American combination of peanut butter and chocolate will be disappointed.


    Should any of my former math teachers actually take a gander at this article, please take note. Had you merely skipped everything else and proceeded directly to the concept of Pi Day, I can assure you that you would have held my attention, particularly through the use visual and flavorful aids. Pi represents the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, that of 3.14, thus designating March 14th as Pi Day. The circle may be the shape of this filled pastry crust dessert, but I prefer to think of the circle as the repeated visits of this satisfying indulgence, circling through the revolving door to our table for infinite meals to come.

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