About 2 years ago my sister and her now husband, Kevin were visiting from out of town and we were all gathered at my parents house one evening. I made some proclamation about wanting to make a pie and asked if anyone had any requests. My brother-in-law's notorious sweet tooth twinkled a little as he made a request for a peanut butter pie with red-raspberry jam and a chocolate crust. Knowing how great this mousse makes as a pie filling, I told him it was as good as done and I would bring over for dessert the next night.
I went to the store to gather ingredients on my way home and found they were out of seedless raspberry jam. It was already late so I didn't have the time or energy to go running around town looking for seedless jam so I purchased the kind with seed and went on my way. I got home and began running the jam I had purchased through a food mill, that eliminated about 60% of the seeds. I pressed it through a mesh strainer several times until the jam became about 95% seedless and I was content with that. The problem with that though is that the jam lost all of it's "jiggly" quality and had taken on the texture of thick syrup. I decided that I would spread this mixture directly atop of the chocolate cookie crust instead of on top of the peanut butter filling as I had planned. The result looked great but a little plain, it needed some garnish to liven it up a little. I dug through my pantry looking for peanut butter cups, baking chocolate or even chocolate chips. All I found was some chocolate almond bark so I melted it down, stuffed it in a pastry bag and went to work with the idea of making a decorative spider web design on top of the mousse.
Now let me give you a little insight on the limits of my dexterity. Take a toddler and spin them around until they stop laughing and ask you to stop, now hand them a pastry bag full of melted chocolate and ask them to draw a perfect circle with it. My result was almost as good as that.
I thought well, maybe when I run the knife through it to create the webbing effect it will look better. Hahaha...WRONG! It looked absolutely dreadful and not in an "oh well it's not that pretty but I'm sure it tastes good" kind of way, but in a totally unappetizing, makes you think the janitor sprinkling sawdust on it kind of way. I still had some almond bark left so I used all I had and spread it out thickly over the entire top so it was a smooth surface of chocolate. It looked delicious at that point so I tossed it in the refrigerator until I brought it over to my parent's house the next night.
I was excited for everyone to try the fruits of my labor and especially for Kevin who requested the blasted thing. My mom brought it out after dinner and we all kind of looked at it for a minute. Remember how I used almond bark to top it off, well the thing with almond bark is that it hardens into a thick shell as I had somehow forgotten. I had used a whole lot of it to coat the top and cover my mistake up with. The finished pie now had a half inch thick layer of rock-hard chocolate preventing any penetration to the peanut butter and jelly pie that lay beneath! My mom had to practically saw the thing in half just to garner one piece. Of course the piece, and each there after were so mangled they made my attempted spider web design look positively inspired! The overall flavor of the ingredients really did taste delicious (if you didn't break a tooth on the solid chunks of almond bark). I hung my head in embarrassment as my sisters laughed at the failings of my much lauded pie making skills. Thankfully Kevin only cared about the taste and was as nice about it as anyone could be (he's not blood related so he doesn't have that mean streak like the rest of us do). After that, I knew I would make this peanut butter mousse in the future but vowed to never get artistic with a pie again!
- For a lighter version you can use Cool Whip, though it certainly tastes better with real whipped cream!
- Try adding chopped up Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, Reese's Pieces or Nutter Butter cookies in or on top for a delicious variation
- Both prepared chocolate cookie crusts and graham cracker crusts turn this mousse into an instant pie.
- Make thick brownies or chocolate cupcakes and scoop out a small section of the middle (about 3/4 of the way down) and fill with mousse before frosting.
- You really can't taste the sourness of the cream cheese in this, it in no way tastes like a cheesecake in case you were wondering!
- Don't top the entire thing with melted almond bark! :)
Peanut Butter Mousse
1 package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
Beat together cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, powdered sugar and vanilla. Gently fold in whipped cream. Spoon into pie crust or serving bowls and chill for 2 hours before serving.