Recipe from Tart Love by Holly Herrick (Gibbs Smith, 2011)Serves 8
What kids, regardless of their "real" age, don't love peanut butter, marshmallow cream, and chocolate all wrapped up in one? On a recipe development grocery run, I spied the fluffy stuff staring at me brazenly from a shelf, right next to the peanut butter. My neighbor Lucie had recently turned me on to the wonders of chocolate graham crackers, so that became the crust that cradles this decadent tart filled with a mousse-like blend of cream cheese, marshmallow cream, and peanut butter. It can be fully assembled ahead of time and chilled overnight. However, save whipping the cream until just a few hours before service. This is heartbreakingly good and beautiful to look at! Its richness and pumpkin-colored hue are perfect for fall and winter indulgences.Equipment needed One 9 x 1-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom
- 1 stick soft butter
- 3 cups crumbled chocolate graham cracker crust (about 1 1/2 wrapped plastic packets)
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup) cream cheese
- 3/4 cup marshmallow cream (suggest Kraft's Jet-Puffed brand)
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
To prepare the crust, crush the graham crackers with a rolling pin and continue until they are about the size of tiny peas. Combine the cracker crumbs and butter in a small bowl, using your hands, until thoroughly mixed. Press the crust evenly into the bottom of the tart pan, pressing the crumbs into the edges. It's okay if it looks a little rough and rustic. Fill with parchment paper and beans or pie weights, and blind bake (see page 19) for 25 minutes. (Note: No egg wash required.) Remove parchment and pie weights and continue baking another 20 minutes, or until the crust starts to dry out and crisp. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Chill to refrigerate. (Note: You can make the crust a day ahead and refrigerate, tightly wrapped.)
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Combine the peanut butter, cream cheese, marshmallow cream and brown sugar in a medium-size bowl. Whisk to combine, or blend with a hand-held mixer until very fluffy and smooth.
To assemble, add the filling to the completely cooled crust. Smooth with a spatula to the edges of the tart. Refrigerate for several hours, or overnight if desired. If serving within the next few hours, proceed to whip the cream, sugar and vanilla together (see Getting the Best Whip Out of Your Cream, page 111) in a cold medium-size bowl until firm peaks have formed. All at once, place the whipped cream on top of the tart. Spread with a spatula to level it out, leaving 1/2 inch visible border of the peanut butter filling. Sprinkle chocolate chunks or chips over the whipped cream. Chill for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours before serving.