Pretzel Peanut Butter Pie

Pretzel Peanut Butter Pie
 Photo by Charlotte Bland, 2016

Photo by Charlotte Bland, 2016


On a trip to New York once I took a 25-block detour in a sub-zero freeze to Momofuku Milk Bar, a city institution with a near cult following, known for its irreverently anti-minimalist cookies, pies and ice creams, in flavours such cereal milk, compost and birthday cake. Of all the treats I tried, though, my favourite was the Candy Bar Pie, packed with nuts, caramel, pretzel and chocolate. This is a simplified version of that pie, toned down for making at home.

Serves 12

For the crust:
50g salted pretzels
30g soft dark brown sugar
30g plain flour
65g butter, chilled
1-2 teaspoons milk

For the filling:
100g crunchy peanut butter
75g soft dark brown sugar
200g condensed milk
Generous pinch of salt
40g butter
25g salted pretzels, lightly crushed

To top:
150g dark chocolate
8 -12 whole salted pretzels

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4 and have a pie tin ready. I made mine in a smallish metal pie dish with sloping slides, roughly 16cm across at its base and 20cm wide at the rim – any tin with roughly these dimensions will work well. If you’re using a bigger dish or perhaps an 18-20cm diameter round cake tin, make extra crust and filling to help the mixture go around. Grease the dish lightly with butter or a little oil.

Blitz the pretzels in a food processor or coffee grinder (or just place in a sturdy plastic bag and bash with a rolling pin) until they're finely crushed, almost floury. Mix the pretzel dust with the sugar and flour then rub in the butter between your fingertips. Add just enough milk to make the mixture slightly stick so it’ll hold together in clumps. Pack the mixture firmly into the base of the pie tin.

Bake the pretzel crust in the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes. While the crust cools, prepare the filling. Combine the peanut butter, sugar, condensed milk and salt in a medi um, heavy-based pan and set over a medium-high heat. Stir constantly, making sure you cover the whole of the base of the pan as you stir, as this sugar-rich mixture is prone to browning and burning if left to sit. Once the filling reaches the boil, cook for a further 3 minutes or so, until it’s begun to thicken and has darkened a shade. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter and crushed pretzels and pour over the pretzel crust. Leave to cool completely at room temperature then transfer it to the fridge to chill.

Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (or in the microwave in short bursts) then spread over the top of the set filling mixture. Position the whole pretzels around the edge of the pie while the chocolate’s still soft, then place in the fridge to set. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving.