It seems like everyone is totally on top of their Thanksgiving game this year. I keep hearing about menus that are fully planned out, pie dough made and frozen, and cute little place cards cut, stamped and tied with a bow.
Normally I would fall into this group (although I’ve never gotten as far as place cards), but this year is a bit different. This being our first Thanksgiving that’s “just the two of us,” hubs and I decided to go out for Thanksgiving dinner. Yes – to a restaurant! AH!!
Has anyone done this before? Are we allowed to do this?? It feels a little odd… so to ease my nerves I made this over-the-top, show-stopping dessert hoping that you might make it for your family on turkey day. I just have to know that somewhere in the world someone is staring at this pie, bug-eyed, asking just like my brother-in-law, “How many of these can I have???”
The answer to that question is not an easy one. Left to their own devices, I’m fairly certain that anyone would devour this entire pie. But we’re talking about Thanksgiving, so sharing is probably a good idea.
My suggestion? Make sure there is PLENTY of Peanut Butter Honeycomb Pie to go around. All those people that say they just want “a sliver” because they’re “soooo stuffed” will be coming back for more, trust me!
This pie probably looks like a doozy to create, but it’s really just some simple components stacked into one hell of a dessert. Plus it’s a make-ahead delight! Do the honeycomb one day, pie the next, and assemble it just before serving.
It starts with a graham cracker crumb crust – pretty standard, right? That gets filled with a peanut buttery custard. There aren’t any pictures of that part, because while custard isn’t difficult, it definitely demands your full attention. Or maybe that’s the part people find difficult? New rule: don’t make custard when you’re distracted!
Honeycomb – another treat crying out for your undivided attention. It follows the same basic process as caramel, but with an extra baking soda boost at the end, which results in its crazy texture.
When you’re ready to eat just pile it all up, drizzle on some chocolate and sprinkle it with peanuts. Then be sure to snag a piece for yourself before it disappears!
Look at that. He would’ve waited for his piece all day if I’d let him.
Peanut Butter Honeycomb Pie
Recipe from Bon Appétit
- 9 graham crackers, coarsley crushed
- 1/4 cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, melted
- 8 large egg yolks
- 12 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (do not exceed 61% cacao), chopped
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Honeycomb (recipe below)
- 1/4 cup roasted, salted peanuts
- Crust: Preheat oven to 325°. Finely grind graham crackers, sugar, salt, and nutmeg in a food processor. Transfer crumb mixture to a medium bowl. Add butter and stir to blend. Use bottom and sides of a measuring cup to pack crumbs onto bottom and up sides of 9" glass or metal pie pan.Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
- Filling: Mix yolks and 6 Tbsp. sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat at high speed until ribbons form, stopping once to scrape down sides of bowl, about 2 minutes.
- Combine milk and remaining 6 Tbsp. sugar in a large saucepan; scrape in seeds from vanilla bean and add bean. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove bean. With mixer running, gradually add hot milk mixture to yolk mixture. Scrape mixture back into pan. Clean bowl. Whisking constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove pan from heat; whisk vigorously for 1 minute. Return custard to mixing bowl, beat on high speed until cool, about 4 minutes. Mix in butter 1 Tbsp. at a time. Add peanut butter, powdered sugar, and salt; beat to blend. Scrape filling into cooled crust; smooth top. Chill until set, 2-3 hours.
- Topping: Stir chocolate and butter in a medium bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Drizzle some of the chocolate glaze over the peanut butter filling, making a circle in the middle of the pie and leaving a 1"-2" plain border.** Pile pieces of honeycomb and salted peanuts on top, then drizzle remaining chocolate glaze over.
**While this suggestion is delicious, I find it leads to serving issues. The circle of chocolate hardens immediately on the cold pie, and when you add the rest of the toppings it's pretty difficult to get a clean slice. I recommend piling the honeycomb on the pie, followed by the chocolate drizzle and peanuts. You can drizzle extra chocolate on each slice, if desired.
Recipe from Bon Appétit
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon baking soda, sifted
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Combine sugar, corn syrup, honey, and 1/4 cup water in a heavy deep saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high; bring to a boil. Cook without stirring, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush, until sugar turns pale amber. Working quickly, add baking soda (mixture will foam up dramatically); whisk quickly just to combine. Immediately pour candy over prepared sheet (do not spread out). Let stand undisturbed until cool, about 20 minutes. Hit candy in several places with the handle of a knife to crack into pieces.