This peanut butter pie recipe is easy, creamy, and worthy of being dubbed Elvis Pie thanks to the presence of peanut butter, bacon, and banana. The King’s favorite sandwich fixings.
How do I make the best pie crust for this peanut butter pie?
We can’t help falling in love with this peanut butter pie for several reasons—among them are two sorts of brilliance lurking in the peanut butter cookie crust. One sort of brilliance is using crushed peanut butter cookies for the pie crust (in lieu of a graham cracker crust, although of course you could use good old grahams). The other moment of heartbreaking brilliance is the act of sneaking bacon (bacon!) into the cookie crust. We know what you’re thinking. Yet the saltiness and smokiness and sweetness tug at one another in a way that makes our knees wobble. We think it’ll do the same to you.
Peanut Butter Pie
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 2 H, 30 M
- Serves 8
- For the peanut butter cookie crust
- For the banana filling
- For the whipped cream topping
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
If using the bacon, arrange it on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, slide it into the oven, and bake until it’s super crisp but not burned, anywhere from 20 minutes to 50 minutes, depending on how thick the bacon is sliced. Drain the bacon on paper towels. Keep the oven on.
When the bacon is cool enough to handle, toss it in a food processor and pulse until it’s finely chopped.
Toss the cookies in the food processor along with the bacon, if using, and pulse until you’ve got fine crumbs. Turn the crumbs into a bowl and add the butter or bacon drippings and mix until the crumbs are the consistency of wet sand. Firmly press the mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and refrigerate the crust until firm.
Bake the crust for about 10 minutes. Place the pie plate on a wire rack and let cool completely.
Fill a large bowl halfway with ice water.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking constantly, but do not let it boil. Simmer for 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
Whisk a ladleful of the hot milk mixture into a bowl with the lightly beaten egg yolks. Add another ladleful of milk, whisking constantly, then pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan of hot milk, still whisking constantly. Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook, whisking steadily, until the custard is thick and you see small bubbles breaking the surface, about 3 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat, whisk in the vanilla, and place the pan in the ice bath. Stir the custard occasionally until it’s fully cooled. (The custard can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 1 day if covered tightly with plastic wrap. Make sure to press the plastic wrap against the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming.)
Slice the bananas—either lengthwise into elegant strips or crosswise into circles, whichever you prefer—and arrange a single layer of bananas in the pie crust. Cover them with half the pudding, then repeat the layering with the remaining banana slices and pudding.
Using a stand mixer, a hand mixer, or a whisk, whip the cream, confectioners’ sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
Pile the whipped cream topping onto the pie filling and top it with the chopped nuts, if using. Slice and, if desired, swivel your hips just before serving or just after indulging. Originally published June 13, 2014.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
Let me start by saying, The King would LOVE this peanut butter pie! Elvis Pie, indeed. I used my favorite crisp peanut-butter cookie recipe for the crust. This peanut butter pie is SO delicious, your friends will NEVER believe that YOU made it.
If, like me, you love a crumb crust, you may wish to use 2 cups crumbs and 5 slices of bacon for a larger proportion of crust to filling. I prepared the bacon as stated in the recipe and it took a good 20 minutes. I also put 2 paper towels on a plate, added 5 slices bacon, and covered it with another paper towel, then cooked the bacon on high at 2-minute intervals until the slices were VERY crisp, about 6 minutes total. Needless to say, the bacon from the microwave was cooked, cooled, and run through the food processor with the cookies before the oven bacon was even starting to get crisp. I used a couple tablespoons bacon fat and 1 tablespoon melted butter for the crust and it turned out nicely.
The next step, making the filling, needs your complete attention. It isn't difficult, but you really don't want to walk away, so read the recipe ahead and have everything you need close at hand, because you'll want to keep the whisk moving. The custard filling will suddenly thicken enough to leave obvious trails from the whisk just before it's ready for the eggs. After you temper and add the eggs, you really need to keep the whisk moving. I had small bubbles breaking at the surface at about 2 1/2 minutes and removed the pan from the flame and added the vanilla. Then, I put the pan in the ice bath and stirred it every couple of minutes with a rubber spatula, incorporating the custard from the sides and keeping it well mixed, until it cooled which, surprisingly took less than 10 minutes.
Building the pie was very easy. I cut the bananas into circles and lined the bottom of the crust with them, then I sliced a banana lengthwise and ran it around the entire side of the crust. Next, I made another layer of banana slices followed by the final layer of custard. In all, I used 3 medium large bananas. For the whipped cream topping, I used a whisk attachment with the KitchenAid stand mixer on medium-high for about 4 minutes, slathered it on the pie, and topped it off with peanuts that I had chopped in the food processor.
This peanut butter pie is the perfect dessert for banana lovers. If you love bananas (or know someone who does), this Elvis Pie is a winner.
I began by baking this peanut butter sandies recipe from the LC site. These cookies made for a fantastic crust. After baking the cookies, I baked the bacon for 22 minutes and it came out crisp but not burnt. I added the melted butter right into the food processor bowl after crushing the peanut butter cookie crumbs and bacon together in the processor. Four one-second pulses combined the pie crust to a workable mixture.
It was then on to the filling. I followed the directions and found the resulting filling to be as thick as a cooked and cooled pudding or custard. Because the filling was so thick, it didn't stream into the egg yolks but rather plopped. The 3 minutes of cooking after warming and adding the eggs was perfect. I sliced the bananas into coin shapes. I placed half the bananas on the top of the crust, and then I dolloped half of the filling on those bananas and spread it evenly. The whipped cream topping was light and not too sweet.
Peanut butter pie: a homemade banana pudding topped with peanut-butter cream and peanuts in a peanut butter and bacon crust. Wow. I figured it would be good, but I was surprised and impressed by just how fantastic the results were. This recipe produced quite possibly the best pudding I have ever made. The total package made for a special dessert.
For the optional peanut topping, I used chopped salted honey roasted peanuts since I had them. That added an extra little touch of sweetness to the peanut butter pie. While it was nice and I think the nuts are nice for the visual appeal, they're not absolutely necessary. The whipped cream had a tannish hue that, in the eyes of some, may have detracted some from its visual appeal. It didn’t adversely affect the taste, though. The pie took a lot of time, but it was worth it. Elvis Pie still rates tops.
It took me 3 1/2 hours, with 1/2 hour of that being chilling time. That was starting from the time I began to preheat the oven. Then, of course, there was the additional time to make the cookies that went into the crust. I used a crumbly peanut butter cookie recipe that doesn’t include salt, since there was also going to be bacon in the crust and I didn’t want it to be too salty. It took about 1 hour at 350°F to get the bacon super crisp but not burnt. I flipped the bacon and drained the fat 3 times during that hour. I used all that bacon fat—3 tablespoons—and 2 tablespoons melted butter in the crust.
Three minutes was about right for the stage where the tempered eggs were cooked with the milk, but I had to turn the heat to low after 1 minute because it got too close to boiling. It had a perfect pudding texture after 3 minutes. I used all but a few slices of 2 bananas for the first layer in the pie and the remaining slices plus 2 bananas for the upper layer. It did not take long at all using a handheld mixer to get stiff peaks in the whipped cream, about 1 minute. I might have gotten my whipped cream a little beyond where it was supposed to be.