Virginia Peanut Pie

This Virginia Peanut Pie is similar to pecan pie…but with peanuts instead.  This delicious sweet and salty dessert will have everyone asking for the recipe!

This Virginia Peanut Pie is similar to pecan pie...but with peanuts instead.  This delicious sweet and salty dessert will have everyone asking for the recipe!Animals are pretty resourceful creatures.  Take cows for instance.  Cows are ruminant animals, which means their digestive systems are able to extract nutrients from plant-based foods that ferment in a specialized stomach.  As such, cattle have adapted to be able to eat all sorts of things that we have in excess.  For the Northeast, that means excess chocolate from Hershey and other chocolate manufacturers.

Well, guess what?  Humans do the same thing.  (Heck, I’d gladly eat leftover chocolate from the Hershey plant!)  Take a look at New England.  Lobster shows up in all sorts of recipes in that area because the northern Atlantic is a key lobster producing area.  Same with crawfish along the Gulf Coast.  There are yearly crawfish boils, and then crawfish tails show up in everything from gumbo to etouffee to crawfish bread.  These areas have excess lobster and crawfish…so lobster and crawfish appear in lots of recipes!

This Virginia Peanut Pie is similar to pecan pie...but with peanuts instead.  This delicious sweet and salty dessert will have everyone asking for the recipe!Did you know that there are 4 main types of peanuts?  (To be fair, there are a lot of varieties of peanuts, but 4 varieties make up the vast majority of all peanuts sold in stores.)  (1) Runners are grown in the southeast, and they are used largely for peanut butter.  (2) Spanish are grown in Oklahoma and Texas, and they are used for peanut butter, snack peanuts and peanut candies – mmm, Peanut M&M’s!  (3) Valencia are grown in New Mexico and the southwest, and they are often roasted and sold in-shell.  And lastly, (4) Virginia are grown in Virginia and the Carolinas, and they are often sold as gourmet snack peanuts.  Perhaps you’ve seen salted, Virginia peanuts in those food gift baskets that often show up around the holidays?

This Virginia Peanut Pie is similar to pecan pie...but with peanuts instead.  This delicious sweet and salty dessert will have everyone asking for the recipe!Virginia Peanut Pie

The point of that discussion was to say that Virginia produces a lot of peanuts.  And when you have a lot of peanuts?  Well, peanuts start to show up in a lot of recipes!  Case in point?  This Virginia Peanut Pie.  Growing up in the Carolinas, I heard about peanut pie, but I can’t say I ever tried a slice.  However, I’m making up for lost time now!  Holy peanuts, Batman – Virginia Peanut Pie is delicious!

The first time I made this pie, it was back in the Spring during the coronavirus quarantine.  For some reason, the quarantine made me want to bake…like every day.  Sourdough bread, baguettes, cakes, cookies, pie.  You name it, I made it.  The weather can stay pretty chilly through most of April here in upstate New York, and there were a number of days when we couldn’t go outside to play.  So instead I taught Robbie about baking!

This Virginia Peanut Pie is similar to pecan pie...but with peanuts instead.  This delicious sweet and salty dessert will have everyone asking for the recipe!As we added different ingredients to our recipes, Robbie wanted to try each thing.  He liked the sugar and brown sugar.  He didn’t so much like the baking soda.  (Imagine that!)  But it’s funny to listen to him talk about baking now.  His 4-year-old brain was soaking up everything I was teaching him, and now he drops lines like, “The cake rose in the oven because of the baking powder.”  What the what!?

Laura walked through the kitchen as we were prepping to make this Virginia Peanut Pie, and she was like what is that?  I told her it was the state pie of Virginia.  She just scoffed at me.  She said the state pie of Virginia should be the Ukrop’s Chocolate Fudge Pie.  Ukrop’s was a grocery store chain in Virginia, but they were bought out by Martin’s in 2010.  They made an amazing chocolate fudge pie, and anyone who ever had a slice of that pie remembers it!  Fortunately for us, Ukrop’s still operates a bakery brand, and their chocolate fudge pie remains a cult favorite.  Several of these pies show up every year at Laura’s family reunion in Maryland.

This Virginia Peanut Pie is similar to pecan pie...but with peanuts instead.  This delicious sweet and salty dessert will have everyone asking for the recipe!I digress.  Talking about chocolate fudge pies has that effect on me.  Back to this Virginia Peanut Pie, Laura took one bite and immediately proclaimed, “Why do we make pecan pie at Thanksgiving!?  We should make peanut pie instead!”  She’s right.  This peanut pie is essentially a pecan pie but with peanuts instead of pecans.  And it’s delicious!  I’ve always loved a good sweet + salty dessert, and this pie hits both of those categories.  Without a doubt, this peanut pie has earned a permanent spot on my list of favorite desserts.  If you’ve looking for a tasty dessert, I highly (highly!) recommend this one!

Did you make this Virginia Peanut Pie at home?  Leave a comment, or better yet snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  Happy baking!

This Virginia Peanut Pie is similar to pecan pie...but with peanuts instead.  This delicious sweet and salty dessert will have everyone asking for the recipe!

Virginia Peanut Pie

This Virginia Peanut Pie is similar to pecan pie...but with peanuts instead.  This delicious sweet and salty dessert will have everyone asking for the recipe!
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Dough Resting Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8 slices
Calories: 457kcal

Ingredients

For the Dough

  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter cold
  • 2 Tbsp vodka see note
  • 2-4 Tbsp cold water

For the Peanut Pie

  • ¾ cup light corn syrup
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups roasted salted peanuts

Instructions

For the Dough

  • Using a food processor, add flour, brown sugar and salt; pulse until well combined.
  • Cut butter into small cubes and add to the food processor; pulse until a crumbly mixture forms.
  • Add vodka and 2 Tbsp of water; pulse until well combined. Continue adding water 1 Tbsp at a time (and pulsing) until dough comes together in a ball.
  • Shape dough into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (Note: Dough can be made the day before and refrigerated overnight.)
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Working on a well-floured surface, roll pie dough into a 12” circle.
  • Transfer pie dough into pan and gently press dough into pan; trim excess overhang so that you have ~½” of overhang on all sides. Tuck overhang under itself so that folded edge is level with the edge of pie plate.
  • Use 2 fingers, crimp the edges of dough. Refrigerate dough for at least 15 minutes.

For the Peanut Pie

  • Using a large mixing bowl, add corn syrup, brown sugar, eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract; stir until well combined.
  • Spread peanuts out onto counter or large cutting board. Using a rolling pin, lightly crush ~⅔ of the peanuts. (Note: You want to crush the peanuts into large pieces here.)
  • Add crushed peanuts and remaining whole peanuts to mixing bowl; stir until well combined.
  • Transfer mixture into prepared pie pan.
  • Bake at 350°F for 55-60 minutes, or until filling is set.
  • Let pie cool at room temperature for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving.

Notes

The alcohol in the crust will evaporate while baking. Substituting vodka (or another 80-proof alcohol) for ½ of the liquid in pie dough will lead to a flakier crust once baked. Try it out!

This Virginia Peanut Pie is similar to pecan pie...but with peanuts instead.  This delicious sweet and salty dessert will have everyone asking for the recipe!

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30 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So, that’s where chocolate milk comes from. I’ve never had a peanut pie, but love pecan pie. I always make a Kentucy Derby pie for Christmas, but I use roasted pinenuts as Eva is nofly for nuts. But, I love peanuts so I’ll make one of these just for me. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Haha – exactly! We’ve solved the mystery of chocolate milk. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t come from brown cows. 🙂

      I remember than Eva can’t do nuts, so this one would be off limits for her. However, if you ever get the chance to make this one just for yourself, then I highly (!!) recommend it. We always make a pecan pie for Thanksgiving…and this peanut pie is giving that pecan pie a run for it’s money now. I’m not sure which one to make this year!

    1. I know! I always thought peanuts were just peanuts. Turns out there are different varieties. Either way, I promise this pie is a good one, Sammie! Cheers!

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve never heard of Virginia peanut pie, but I would certainly love to try! We love all sort of nuts! And 4 different types of peanuts? Who would have thought? Love how loaded this one is. Too bad I couldn’t grab a slice. It would certainly make for the most delicious afternoon pick-me-up with a cuppa coffee 😉 Pinned!

    1. Oh, you’ve got to try this pie, Dawn! It’s life changing. Ok, that might be a bit extreme, but it’s really, really, really good! It would indeed go well with a cup of coffee in the afternoon, but it goes even better with a glass of red wine at night! 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    First of all, why do peanuts grown in Oklahoma and Texas are named Spanish? Virginia peanuts do make sense, Spanish don’t. Secondly, I didn’t know (Or I guess I knew, but I never was interested looking into the data) there are many varieties of peanuts. I know only one variety named a “Special Offer Price” – that’s the best variety, right? Lol. This pie looks phenomenal, David! Lots of peanuts and a caramel situation…what can even go wrong? Also, if you slightly tweak the filling making it chewier and drizzle the pie with chocolate, that would basically be a Snickers pie. What do you think about this idea?

    1. You ask a good question, Ben. I don’t know the answer (I’m sure Google does), but I’d venture to guess that Spanish settlers were the first ones to plant those peanuts in Oklahoma and Texas. That’s just a guess though!

      And you’re right – the ‘special offer price’ peanuts are my favorite, too. Haha! This pie is amazing, Ben. I highly recommend making it! And the chocolate idea? Laura just told me this morning that I should make this pie with chocolate chips next year – I guess great minds think alike, huh? 🙂

  4. i love a hit of saltiness in my sweets so this would be fabulous. i worry about peanuts tho, cos sometimes i choke on them. i wonder why that is? …

    1. Hmmm…that’s a good question, Sherry. I don’t have an answer. Perhaps it’s because you’re so excited to eat them that you forget to chew ’em up? Haha – I’m kidding, of course! I bet you could chop the peanuts for this pie to overcome that potential problem. And, yes, the salty + sweet combination is so good!

  5. 5 stars
    We are big believers in Virginia peanuts – we dole out a whopping $10 a can for them at our local grocery store because they’re worth every penny. But I’ve never used them in pie. LOVE this idea, David. Thank you for the inspiration!

    1. Yes! I totally agree that Virginia peanuts are worth every penny – the problem is they disappear so quickly at home. Haha! (And they disappear even faster with a cold beer in hand, too.) Definitely try using some of those Virginias for this pie – it literally blew our minds! 🙂

    1. I agree, Kathy. Peanuts are often overlooked, but they are amazing! We love munching on them as a snack, but I have to say that peanut pie is such a cool thing. Please make one this holiday season! It literally blew our minds how good it was. 🙂 Moooooo!

  6. 5 stars
    David! I have to say, I saw your pie on Twitter! I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the recipe! I’m not a huge fan of pecan pie, (except my chocolate version), but Peanut Pie has my name all over it! Can’t wait to make this! Pinning!!

    1. Oh man, I love this peanut pie, Laura. It’s certainly reminiscent of pecan pie, but holy cow…I couldn’t stop eating it! It’s gonna be a tight race between this pie and the traditional pecan pie I make each year – this one might have earned a spot on the Thanksgiving table! 🙂

  7. I once had a vinegar pie at work and it was amazing. Never tried a peanut pie before. My wife would love it. I showed the dish to her and she wants to know when am I making this for her

    1. Vinegar pie? Interesting. I feel like I wouldn’t like that, but I don’t know – I’m intrigued! Either way, I do highly recommend this peanut pie, Rahul. It’s quite tasty!

  8. Wow, I had no clue there were so many different peanut varieties. I love this sort of pie that’s sweet with a touch of salty. Perfectly delicious. I’m in! 🙂 ~Valentina

    1. I know, right?? I always thought peanuts were just peanuts, but then I had the opportunity a couple of years ago to see peanuts being harvested. It opened my eyes to the world of peanuts! And this pie? Oh man, it’s awesome. Like it might have just replaced the pecan pie that we make every Thanksgiving! Thanks, Valentina!

  9. 5 stars
    I never thought about using peanuts instead of pecans in the pecan pie. Ingenious. And no I had no idea that there were 4 main types of peanuts. I always get a good eduction from you here David! As well as some amazing delicious dessert recipes!

    1. Hey, I can’t take credit for the idea here. I’m pretty sure Virginians came up with this idea purely because so many peanuts are grown there. Either way, I can give it two thumbs up! Like it might replace pecan pie on my list of favorites…and that says a lot because I love (!!) pecan pie!

  10. 5 stars
    I can eat all sorts of things too as long as they are delicious like this. And yes, leftover chocolate for the win, if there are any specially in my household

  11. This looks fabulous. Sweet, salty, peanuts? Yes, please! but I hesitate as the last time I made pecan pie, I found it to be toothachingly sweet. How would you describe the sweetness level of this pie? Thanks!

    1. Why thank you very much! I love the salty + sweet combination. I totally know what you mean about some pecan pies being too sweet. It’s hard to compare this pie to that last pecan pie as I don’t know how sweet it was. However, with that said, I think this pie is nicely balanced. It was sweet for sure…but I didn’t find it too sweet. If you’re concerned about the sweetness, you could try cutting the brown sugar in the pie back a bit. However, I’d recommend making it the regular way first and then adjusting from there if needed. Either way, I hope you get a chance to make this pie – it’s a family favorite here!

      1. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond! Generally, I do like to give a recipe the benefit of the doubt and make it as written the first time around. I did, however, find that pecan pie recipe and there’s 1/4c more sugar in that recipe than there is in this one, so my hopes are higher still for some serious deliciousness!

        1. Sure thing about responding – I always try to respond to anyone who takes the time to leave a thoughtful comment/question! So 1/4c of sugar would be a significant boost. Of course, the corn syrup in here brings a lot of sweetness, too – but it’s hard to get that classic pecan (or in this case peanut!) pie texture without corn syrup. Either way, I have high hopes that this pie hits the mark in terms of deliciousness without being too sweet! Happy baking!

          1. 5 stars
            Finally made this about a week ago. It was very good! The sweetness was on point and everyone who tried it loved it. But I do wonder if I got the pie crust right. I’ve never been a pie person, so I’m not entirely sure what the texture should be. The crust was fine, but it seemed more like a cookie than something flakey. Is that how this particular crust is supposed to be? Cheers!

        2. Awesome! I’m so glad you got a chance to make this pie – and I’m happy to hear that the sweetness was on point. It’s so hard to describe that as everyone has different preferences in that category.

          So for the crust, I used my go-to pie dough crust. It should’ve been fairly flaky (the vodka actually contributes to that). It’s hard to say for sure, but based on your description, I wonder whether the butter was cold when it got mixed in. Or alternatively, I wonder if the dough got a bit too warm before the pie went into the oven. Pie dough becomes flaky when the pieces of butter in the dough that turn straight to steam in the oven – rather than having room temperature butter that doesn’t produce steam. Does that make sense? Either way, I’m sure a cookie crust would be just as delicious here, too! After all, it’s all about the peanuts, right? 🙂

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