Michael and I unintentionally went over-the-top on peanuts in our contributions to Hayley's birthday picnic, doubling down on roasted peanuts and peanut butter in both dishes. While Michael's dressed a kale and quinoa salad, mine formed the base flavour for a sweet little pie.
My first contact with this pie was as a recipe tester for Leigh Drew's Wrapped in Pastry. The peanut butter caramel filling was always destined to win me over, but it was the fresh blueberry topping that proved to be the clincher. Instead of the depth and richness of a more predictable chocolate/peanut butter pairing, blueberries really lighten up the caramel and lend a hint of tartness. It makes for a really nice springtime dessert.
The shortcrust pastry was not my best effort. I think I added too little liquid, rendering it crumbly and difficult to roll (yet so very easy to swear at). By contrast, the peanut butter caramel was simple and completed in perhaps 5 minutes. I enjoyed taking a little longer over the topping, alternating decorative circles of blueberries and roasted peanuts to pretty, homely effect.
This isn't the kind of recipe that will ever enter our weekly rotation but I can see myself enjoying it all the more for pulling it out once a year, when blueberries are cheap-ish and there are friends to feed.
Peanut butter & blueberry pie
(a recipe from Leigh Drew's Wrapped in Pastry,
made available online through her blog)
2 cups plain flour
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup almond milk
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
1 cup almond milk
1 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh blueberries
2/3 cup salted roasted peanuts
To make the pastry, place the flour and icing sugar in a food processor and pulse them briefly to combine. Add the margarine and blend until it's thoroughly mixed through the flour. With the blades still rotating, pour in the lemon juice. Drip in the almond milk a tablespoon at a time and continue blending until the ingredients are well mixed; they might even pull together into a dough ball. Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap, push it together into a dough ball with your hands, wrap it up in the plastic and refrigerate the dough for 2 hours.
Preheat an oven to 180°C and lightly spray a pie dish with oil. Retrieve the dough ball from the fridge, and unwrap it, leaving the spread out glad wrap between the ball and the bench. Arrange another piece of plastic wrap on top of the dough, and roll the ball out between the two plastic sheets to fit the pie dish. When it looks like a good fit, remove the plastic on top and ease the pastry into the dish open side down. Pull off the second layer of plastic and fit the pastry into the dish, trimming and patching where needed. Poke some holes in the base with a fork and bake the pastry until it's lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Allow the pastry to cool on the bench.
To make the filling, place the peanut butter and almond milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir them regularly until they're well-mixed and smooth, then take them off the heat. Sift in the icing sugar and add the vanilla, whisking everything together until it's very smooth. Pour the caramel into the pastry case and smooth over the top to even it out. Decorate the top of the pie with alternating concentric circles of blueberries and peanuts. Refrigerate the pie for around 2 hours before slicing and serving.