Martha Does Peanut Butter

Thanks to all of you who commented about yesterday’s entry regarding Tawn and I getting married.  I certainly appreciate the support, although more practically the opportunity to do this in Thailand will probably not come around anytime in the next few decades as there isn’t any real friction here to drive social change.  We keep having coups, after all, so gay rights is somewhere further down the list.

When I moved here, our friend Kobfa advised me that my relationship with my in-laws would likely not change and that the way it is now is the way it is likely to remain.  Considering how many people I know whose partners have to be totally closeted with their parents, I appreciate that Tawn can be honest with his parents even if I’m not welcomed into the family fold by my father-in-law.  It could be worse.

Anyhow, changing topics for a moment…

 

Monday I made a recipe for a peanut butter tart that Tawn had printed from Martha Stewart’s website.  This was originally meant to be his project, but somehow it didn’t get made so before the ingredients went to waste I went ahead and made it.  Things like this happen sometimes…

First, I made a graham cracker crumb crust.  Let me tell you, the familiar graham crackers of my childhood are not stocked at even the best international markets here.  An online search showed that it is pretty easy to make your own graham crackers so I’ll do that next time.  Eventually, I finally found “70% organic” graham crackers from Health Valley at Villa market and used them, even though they didn’t look or feel like the graham crackers I have known.  

These different crackers posed a small chalenge.  The measurements in Martha’s recipe were absurd: Ten 4 3/4-by-2 1/2 inch crackers, which must be the official, universal graham cracker size.  These grapham crackers were different dimensions and were thicker than normal graham crackers, so the cracker crumb-to-butter ratio was off.  Couldn’t the recipe editors just come up with a volume?  Two cups of cracker crumbs, for example.

After dealing with the graham cracker crust debacle, I made a chocolate ganache.  This is shaved or chopped good quality milk chocolate into which boiled cream is poured.  After the chocolate melts, it is whisked together to combine, then whisked over an ice bath until it thickens but is still spreadable.  The ganache is then spread into the crumb crust, forming a chocoalte base.  Refrigerate to set.

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The next step is to make the peanut butter filling.  This is peanut butter, cream cheese, and sweetened condensed milk, whipped together.  The recipe used a food processor but mine is in the US still so the trusty Kitchen Aid mixer was enlisted.

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Next, 3/4 cup of cream is whipped to soft peaks.

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Then the whipped cream is folded into the peanut butter mixture to make it lighter and fluffier.

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Finally, the peanut butter-whipped cream mixture is spread over the chocolate base and the tart is allowed to set in the refrigerator for at least three hours.

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Meanwhile, I prepared dinner for Tawn.  Dischi volanti pasta with homemade pesto; steamed salt-and-pepper Tasmanian salmon for him, roast beef for me; steamed asparagus with butter and sea salt; a medley of corn, peppers, and peas; and a green salad.  Feeling like we hadn’t had enough of a weekend, I opened a bottle of prosecco.  Why not enjoy some sparkling wine on a Monday?

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And, finally, the dessert:

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There was supposed to be another dallop of whipped cream on top but I didn’t want to go to the trouble of whipping cream just for two servings.  All in all, the crumb crust wasn’t holding together sufficiently – not enough butter, I think.  The flavor was good and the texture light enough.  I’m a big peanut butter fan but even so, I found the tart to be pretty one-dimensional.  Maybe if the chocolate was a darker chocolate instead of milk chocolate?  Or maybe if a little cardamon or chili pepper was added?

 

13 thoughts on “Martha Does Peanut Butter

  1. you can’t fool me with the fluffiness. look at all the sugar and fat that went into that decadent piece of pie: buttered graham cracker base, sweet condensed milk, heavy cream, whipped cream, chocolate and cream, peanut butter, and more cream lol..

  2. Cardamom would add a subtle spiciness, while the chili pepper would add more bite, I think. Interesting to try either one. Peanut butter can be pretty overbearing, so a more bitter chocolate, perhaps semi-sweet might add more character. It looked delicious. Let’s see how much 10 crackers makes, volume-wise. I’ll let you know. M

  3. I agree with Sue. Dark chocolate would have added some more contrast to the peanut butter. Yummy!
    I think I’ll try that one next time we all get together.

  4. I’m just impressed with the meal. It looks delicious! Actually, I think it is jealousy. We’ve been having a lot of mac and cheese, grilled cheese, and hamburgers. Luckily Spring Break is just around the corner and hopefully my family will get some better meals! I’ll have to try the tart as well and take it to school for the teachers. They’ll eat anything even if it isn’t very dimensional. Food makes the stress go away.

  5. @kev – Me, but for the most part I clean as I go so there wasn’t very much left to wash after dinner.
    @oldpartner – Time is always a challenge.  The mixed veggies are pretty easy because you can keep peas and corn in the freezer with good results.  Just chop up a bell pepper and add it to the mix for a little contrast.  I don’t know if the girls like pesto, but that’s something that is easy to make with a food processor or blender and you can freeze it in an ice cube tray.  That way you have portions of sauce ready to go whenever you need it.

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