Peanut Butter Pie

Chocolate Cookie Crumb Crust
2 Cups cookie crumbs 50cl
¼ Cup sugar 50g
½ Cup butter, melted 113g
Blend cookie crumbs and sugar.
Add melted butter, stir.
Press into pie mold, refrigerate while preparing the filling.
Peanut Butter Filling
1 Cup peanut butter 258g
1 “8 ounce”  brick cream cheese 226g
1 Cup sugar 200g
1 Tbsp vanilla 1 cuillère à soupe
2 Tbsp butter (optional) 28g
Blend together well, then add
1 “8 ounce” container of cool whip 226g or 90cl
Pour into crust and refrigerate over night.
Add chocolate shavings if you wish.
Serve cold, or it will not be firm enough to cut.  For my last potluck I put it in the freezer overnight, so it would still be cold come desert time.
OK…..
So there are four main ingredient issues for making this recipe here in Lyon: the cream cheese, the peanut butter, the cool whip, and the cookie crumbs.
For the Cream cheese, if you don’t use Philadelphia, or don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for it, there are three french equivalents for cream cheese: the brand name St. Môret, or the generic, “Fromage à tartiner”, and now there is also the “Elle et Vire” brand version of cream cheese called “fromage crème”. I usually get the generic. You have to be a little careful since some of the generics can be a little less consistent than Philadelphia cream cheese. I used a DIA generic brand this year and it turned out fine, just make sure you drain off all the extra liquid.   It was 300g for less than 2 euros.
For the Peanut butter… Lots of places have peanut butter, the only thing is that it is expensive. I like to get my peanut butter from Paris Store, a huge asian supermarket in Vénissieuxof all things, the PSP brand Pâte d’Arachide, creamy peanut butter. It’s the best deal on peanut butter. It tastes just as good as a brand name peanut butter but costs less than 4 euros for 510g. Usually it costs almost 5 euros for one of those 340g Skippy jars.
For the Cool whip… I’ve never seen cool whip here, but that’s okay with me since I’d rather make my own whip cream anyway. In the US, you just pick up the little carton that says whipping cream, get it really cold, add some powdered sugar if you’d like, and beat it with the beaters until it’s whipped, and voila! Only problem is that it doesn’t work with the liquid creams you can get here, due to the lower fat content. Heavy whipping cream has 38% fat content, whipping cream has 35%. Crème liquidehere, that says its for crème chantilly, or crème fouettée, is only 30% and it won’t make a whipped cream that stands up enough not to turn your cream pie totally soupy. I’ve seen some that are 32%, and get excited, but that still doesn’t work.  They also have a thing called “fixe chantilly” (whipped cream stabilizer), that doesn’t work either! So I have finally broken down and just get a can of whipped topping. If you can find one with the fat content on the can you’ll see that it has a higher fat content. (Darn them! Where did they get that?) To be honest, I don’t measure it out, I just eyed it to look like about the right amount.
For the Cookie crumb crust… I use to use “Palets bretons, pur beurre-au chocolat”, from DIA. They come with 8 cookies in a package and it took me about two and a half packages. I found that I was able to crumble these cookies with my fingers, and that made it really easy. However, these handy little cookies use to cost only 0,77€ three years ago and now they’re 2,88€.  Since I could think of any possible justification for a 275% price increase, and I hate getting ripped off, this year I just got the cheapest entirely chocolate cookie I could find and blended them in the food processor. They were called “American Cookie”. (So not american, but oh well.) I used two packages and had a little to spare.

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