You may be wondering how no-bake peanut butter pie can exist without cream cheese. Well, no-bake pies are typically made with lots of whipped egg whites and stiffly beaten egg yolks to make up for the lack of binders like cream cheese or condensed milk. The result is a creamy texture that is reminiscent of no-bake cheesecake.
This recipe uses only one cup of sugar instead of two cups because it does not use any sweetened condensed milk or cream cheese that would require more sugar. It also has no nuts because they would not integrate well into this type of crustless pie filling mixture without cooking them first due to their high oil content which makes them difficult to blend properly in no-cook no-bake desserts.
1 1/2 cups dry roasted peanuts, finely ground
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder (optional)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted until browned and slightly nutty in smell
3 tablespoons milk
1 cup peanut butter
3/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8 or 9-inch pie pan with parchment paper so that no part of the pan is exposed and no paper hangs over the sides. To make sure no part of the pan is exposed, fold a small section of the paper over on itself before placing it in the pan so that the edges are offset slightly. This will keep any batter from leaking out while baking. You can use the cooking spray but this makes it harder to prevent leakage during baking than just folding up some parchment paper like a ring. Blend together peanuts, 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, cocoa powder (optional), and melted butter until no peanut chunks or large lumps remain.
Press into prepared pie pan to form a crust. In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the remaining confectioner’s sugar, milk, peanut butter, salt, and vanilla extract. Beat at medium-high speed with the whisk attachment for about 2 minutes. Be sure no clumps of powdered sugar remain or no clumps of peanut butter remain at the bottom before you pour this batter over the crust in your prepared pie plate. Pour filling over top crust evenly and smooth out with a rubber spatula so that no gaps appear between pieces of ground peanuts or no part is thicker than any other part which would cause it to cook differently from the rest of the pie. Place in preheated oven to bake for 15 minutes or until no part jiggles when shaken and no imprint remains after being touched with a finger, which indicates that no peanut butter filling has been left behind in these areas.
Remove from oven and cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes before moving to fridge. Place in fridge to fully cool for about 4 hours or overnight before removing from pan by lifting up parchment paper lining so no part tears off with it before attempting to cut your no-bake peanut butter pie into 9 equal pieces. Store in the refrigerator between uses and serve cold.