One day recently The Resident Food Critic remarked that her favorite restaurant pie was Peanut Butter Pie. Over the years, I've eaten many a peanut butter cup, of course, and probably more than my fair share of peanut butter cookies, but I'd never had peanut butter pie. Naturally, I wanted to try it. The restaurant that provoked these fond memories was many miles away, so I made one myself.
Actually, I made four. No, no ... not four pies. I made four individual single-serving tarts. Why, you ask? The recipes I read for inspiration all sounded pretty rich, and I thought a tart, which is flat, might provide a better crust-to-filling ratio. Also, I had some new tart pans I wanted to try out. Also, if you are into small desserts, little tarts are almost too cute for words.
This was my first foray into tart-making. I learned two things: tarts are very easy to make. Tart crust is more like cookie dough than pie crust, and surprisingly easy to handle, at least in the small size. Also, tarts take time. There are multiple rounds of warming up and chilling things, so even though the actual amount of work is small, the process itself can drag on for most of a day. Ok, I learned another thing too: peanut butter tarts are delicious! The Resident Food Critic liked them better than the restaurant version.
These are gluten-free tarts. If you do not want them to be gluten-free, you can replace the gluten-free flour with all-purpose flour.
Since the tart pastry is so much like cookie dough, I pressed the leftover scraps together and made a cookie. It was delicious too.
Chocolate tart crust is surprisingly uncommon. This recipe is adapted from the "Double-chocolate berry tart with blackberry sauce" in Elizabeth Wolf Cohen's The Chocolate Cookbook. As I've mentioned before, this is a great book. It has recipes for things like chocolate-chocolate cream puffs, and chocolate pecan pie. Definitely for the chocolate lover, and not for the faint of heart.
The filling for this pie is adapted from "Peanut-Butter Cream Pie" in The Fannie Farmer Baking Book. It has a lovely, soft texture and a rich, but not cloying flavor.