Sweet & Spicy Peanut Pie

Honeyed Peaches & Cream Ice Cream

Balsamic-Macerated Blueberries


Many food dish ideas sit for months in my head, knocking about waiting for the right occasion to pop out. This past week's national Pecan Pie Day was just the celebration I needed to finally try my experiment of making a peanut pie in the same manner as the traditional and much-loved pecan pie, adding a bit of kick to it — complimenting the pie's inherently extreme sweetness — with pinches of both cayenne and Tabasco.

And since peanuts always remind my of the Carolinas where my father's side of the family heralds from (and where his father owned a farm the harvested the very peanuts I used to pick with him as a child).

Keeping with the southern nostalgia, I decided to top it with a "peaches 'n' cream" ice cream, rounded with a "touch o' honey". And as if that wasn't enough — very little in the southern cooking is — I opted to craft a sauce from fresh blueberries macerated in balsamic vinegar for a tang of tartness and acidity.

Which further confirms that my "5S" flavor principle — salty, savory, sweet, smoky, spicy — can apply itself admirably with desserts as well, with the saltiness of savory peanuts, smoky from pre-roasting, partners exceptionally with all the sugar (as it always has), and is joined by kicky peppery heat, and a savory, buttery crust.

A honey-tinged creamy ice cream is boosted both by the aromatics and small, sumptuous bites of fresh peaches, and a vibrant, tart, blueberry sauce is relieved of its usual cloyingness by the vinegar's undercutting, making the overall experience of enjoying a spoonful of pie, ice cream, and sauce as the fevered dream representation of one of our most classic comfort foods — peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.

And for the very first time here on Cheeseboro Kitchens website, I've (finally!) included a (working) recipe for you fine readers to use as a template for your own creative dessert ideas.


Ingredients

Pie:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsps melted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup (crunchy) peanut butter
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 2 tbsps cayenne pepper powder
  • 2 tsps tabasco sauce
  • pre-cooked or frozen 9" pie crust

Ice Cream:

  • 2 fresh peaches
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cups honey

Blueberry Sauce:

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 4 tbsps balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar

RECIPE

Honeyed Peaches 'n' Cream Ice Cream

In a medium saucepan dissolve sugar in milk and evaporated milk. Dice one peach and add to milk mixture. Stir over low heat until liquid coats the back of a wooden spoon. (The peaches will release some water while steeping, which is why I use the evaporated milk to compensate and help avoid ice crystals in the ice cream once chilled.)

Remove peaches with slotted spoon or strainer. Rinse with cold water and hold for later.

Whisk eggs and slowly, bit by bit, add to milk mixture to make the custard, whisking briskly the entire time. (Use a strainer to remove any curds that may have formed.)

Place saucepan in refrigerator and let mixture cool for about an hour. Add heavy cream, mix thoroughly, and place back to refrigerator for another hour.

Small dice the remaining peaches and add with earlier leftover peaches to a small saucepan over low heat. And about a teaspoon of sugar and a couple tablespoons of water to just heat through, sweeten, and soften. Remove from heat and let sit.

Remove custard from refrigerator. Pour into ice cream maker, following manufacturer's instructions. Add peaches slowly, then add honey. Let churn for a total of about 20 minutes. When set, distribute into the non-reactive container of your choice. Place in freezer.

 

Sweet & Spicy Peanut Pie

Preheat oven to 350°.

In large bowl, thoroughly mix sugar, corn syrup, butter, peanut butter, cayenne, Tabasco. Whisk eggs and add to pie filling mixture, mixing thoroughly. Add peanuts, mix through.

Pour mixture into pie shell. Bake in oven for 50–60 minutes, minding the pie crust manufacturer's instructions. (If the crust starts to brown too quickly, cover it in foil.)

When done, let cool on counter thoroughly before placing in refrigerator for at least an hour, preferably two hours.

 

Balsamic-Macerated Blueberries

Dissolve sugar with balsamic vinegar in small saucepan over low heat. Add blueberries. Stir constantly over medium low heat until liquid reduces by 50%, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.