I interrupt my effusive Maui ramblings to bring you this. I won’t lie to you: this is probably the best worst thing you’ve ever eaten. I don’t think there’s any way you can rationalize this dessert, but you can do what we did and eat it in celebration of a best friend’s birthday by way of justification. Creamy peanut butter, sweet and slightly smoky bacon, on an Oreo crust…what’s not to love? (Except the hardening of your arteries, of course. I am in no way saying this is good for you. Just that you want it.)
Bacon is definitely trending in desserts now, in everything from cookies, to coffee syrups, to this peanut butter pie. If you do it right, it has the perfect amount of crunch, and an addictive sweet/salty harmony. It’s the consummate third wheel to the peanut butter/chocolate relationship. But if bacon isn’t your thing, this peanut butter pie will be delicious without it, just not as over-the-top indulgent.
I made my Oreo crust with the rendered fat from the candied maple bacon, and it obviously wasn’t enough. It seemed like it would stick together, but I should have added a little butter to make up the difference (I had less than 1/4 cup). Also, if you are one of those people who happens to keep bacon fat to cook with, I’d definitely use just hardwood smoked bacon fat for the crust, because I think it has a more bacon-y flavor, which I would like to be a tad more pronounced, but we just never have bacon, so no extra bacon fat for me.
This pie is a little sweet for my taste, but probably not for most people. If you’re like me, start by mixing in 1/2 cup sugar into the filling, and then adding as you go. You can slowly blend it in after everything except the bacon have been mixed.
1 package maple cured bacon
~1 cup light brown sugar
25 Oreos (Use generic at your own peril. I keep trying off-brand sandwich cookies in moments of cheapness and am always disappointed.)
1/4 – 1/3 cup rendered bacon fat or butter
Peanut butter filling
8 oz marscapone cheese, softened (You can use cream cheese, but the filling will have a typical cream cheese tang. Marscapone has a very similar texture, but without that soured zing)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
Peel the bacon slices apart and lay them on a rectangular cookie sheet. Sprinkle liberally with light brown sugar. Rub into bacon. Bake at 325F, checking every 20 minutes until crispy – about an hour. The bacon will darken, and look a little burned, but it will come out perfectly crispy. Resist the urge to mess with it while it’s baking, but you can rotate the sheet for even cooking. When the bacon’s done, turn the oven up to 350F for the crust. Cool bacon in refrigerator.
Make the crust by crushing the Oreos into crumbs. I recommend a food processor or a blender. I used my tiny processor, and chopped up 8-9 cookies at a time.
Pour into a large bowl, and mix with 1/4 – 1/3 cup bacon grease or butter. Stir until all crumbs are coated, and can be mashed together. If they crumble apart, you will have a slightly crumbly crust like I did. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake at 350F for 6-8 minutes. Allow to cool completely before filling.
After crust cools, make filling. First, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Be careful not to over-whip. (Though I did just learn that if you do over-whip it, you can add some unwhipped cream, and slowly stir it in until the texture comes back.) Set aside in a bowl in your refrigerator. Add marscapone, peanut butter, and powdered sugar to mixing bowl. Slowly blend until it’s all incorporated, and then beat until fluffy. Slowly stir in whipped cream. Carefully mix in some chopped bacon (I mixed in about 4 slices, but you could do more or less as it suits you), and then smooth into prepared crust.