I recently visited a dear friend in Lexington, KY. During my stay, my friend insisted that we go to Ramsey’s, a local institution loved for its homey environment and famous for its pies. I got the combination pie, a brownie and peanut butter pie which is known to its fans as simply “the combo.” I have been thinking about that pie ever since I got back, and yesterday I
really wanted to procrastinate was overwhelmed by the urge to recapture its fudgy, salty sweetness. And you know what? I did it.
The pastry was sweet and crumbly, the brownie was thick and fudgy, and the peanut butter filling was just…perfect. And the best part was, it was actually really easy. It took more patience than anything else. Pie is my favorite food, but if you don’t love it the way I do, this pie could easily be reworked into brownie peanut butter bars.
pastry: (adapted from Simply French by Patricia Wells)
- 4 tbs. softened butter
- 1/2 c. powdered sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- dash of vanilla
- 1 c. flour
- pinch of salt
In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until it resembles a thick frosting. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla until smooth, then add in the flour and a pinch of salt. If the dough seems too sticky, add up to two more tablespoons of flour, no more. Turn out the dough onto waxed paper, form it into a ball, and place another layer of waxed paper on top. Roll it out into a circle and place it on a cookie sheet. This technique makes this particular pastry dough a cinch to roll out and ensures you don’t get a floury mess all over your counter. Put it in the fridge for at least an hour, or in the freezer for 20 minutes if you’re in a rush. Once it’s chilled, place it in a tart pan and trim the edges.
cocoa brownie batter: (adapted from smittenkitchen)
- 1-1/4 sticks butter
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 3/4 c. sweet cocoa
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 c. flour
While your pastry is in the fridge, preheat your oven to 350°. In a double boiler, melt together the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt, and then set it aside to cool slightly. You want to make sure it’s not so hot that it cooks your egg! Once it’s just warm, beat in the egg until very smooth. Stir in the flour until you can’t see it anymore, then beat the batter vigorously for about 40 seconds. Pour into the prepared tart pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until brownies are done but fudgy. Allow pie to cool, then cover it with foil and place it in the fridge for at least an hour. (Please don’t judge me for the cowboy hat in the background of this picture. I’m a college girl and it’s almost Halloween.)
peanut butter pie filling:
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 c. peanut butter (I use the real stuff)
- 1/2 c. powdered sugar
Beat everything together with an electric mixer on high until thoroughly blended and very smooth. Spread it out in the cooled brownie pie pan, and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, until set.