Saturday, August 13, 2011

Two Peanut Butter Pies


I made two peanut butter pies today, one from a modern recipe and one from a hand-written vintage one.  The pies are a tribute to Mike Perillo, husband of food writer Jennifer Perillo, who died suddenly last week.  Jennie asked people to make a peanut butter pie, her husband's favorite, and share it with someone they love.  In an amazing show of support, hundreds of bakers made pies and posted on Twitter at #apieformikey.  Sudden death is often incomprehensible and the only thing to do is hug those you love tight.  And, perhaps bake a pie.


The pie pictured at top and above is from the recipe Jennie posted on her website.  This is a very creamy pie, though if you wait the three hours as suggested, your slice will look much better than the one above.  (I've pasted the recipe below.)

Pictured below is the pie from a vintage recipe, intriguing because it was jotted in pencil on the back of a personal check written (and never cashed) in 1958.  I found it in an old recipe box at a flea market in Pennsylvania.


This is a cooked custard pie in a regular pastry pie crust.  It is not as peanut butter-y as Jennie's, as it has only two tablespoons of peanut butter instead of the one cup she calls for.


I am not a fan of peanut butter at all, yet I found both these pies strangely addicting.  DH gave two thumbs up to Jennie's pie.  And then gave me a hug.



Jennie's recipe is below:

Creamy Peanut Butter Pie
Serves 10 to 12
8 ounces chocolate cookies
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 ounces finely chopped chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup creamy-style peanut butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Add the cookies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs.  Combine melted butter and cookie crumbs in a small bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well.  Press mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. 
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave.  Pour over bottom of cookie crust and spread to the edges using an off-set spatula.  Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate. Place pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
Pour the heavy cream into a bowl and beat using a stand mixer or hand mixer until stiff peaks form.  Transfer to a small bowl and store in refrigerator until ready to use.  Place the cream cheese and peanut butter in a deep bowl.  Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioner's sugar.  Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract and lemon juice. Increase speed to medium and beat until all the ingredients are combined and filling is smooth.
Stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling mixture (helps lighten the batter, making it easier to fold in the remaining whipped cream).  Fold in the remaining whipped cream.  Pour the filling into the prepared springform pan.  Drizzle the melted chocolate on top, if using, and refrigerate for three hours or overnight before serving.

    9 comments:

    1. Great pies! Found your blog via #apieformikey on Twitter - I collect cookbooks from the 40s and 50s, mostly church and ladies auxiliary cookbooks! I love it! I read them like novels. I consider them to be the TRUE textbooks on women's history

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    2. Evin -- Glad you found me and I so totally agree that old recipes speak volumes about women's lives. They are a fascinating (and often delicious) read of the past.

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    3. The vintage pie looks very intriguing! Jennie's pie is already gone (it's 1:1o am mon morn Arizona time) so looks like it's time to make your vintage custard recipe!

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    4. Thanks, SugarBeam. Let me know how it turns out. My tasters all much preferred Jennie's pie over the vintage one, though I liked the vintage pie better. It's basically a custard pie with a peanut butter flavor note.

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    5. For the vintage one, if you want to boost the flavor, mix 1/2 cup peanut butter with 1 cup powdered sugar with an electric mixer until crumbly. Put one half of the mixture in the bottom of the crust before adding the peanut butter filling. Then top with a layer of whipped cream and sprinkle the remaining crumbs on top. I promise you will not be disappointed.

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    6. To boost the flavor in the vintage recipe, mix 1/2 cup peanut butter with 1 cup powdered sugar until crumbly (you can use a hand mixer). Press half the mixture into the crust before pouring in the filling. Then, top the pie with whipped cream, (I mix mine rather unsweetened, just a tbsp of powdered sugar to 1.5 cups cream) then sprinkle the remaining crumbs on top for decoration.

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      1. Thanks for that great tip, Maggie! It sounds rather intriguing. And apologies for taking so long to respond.

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    7. So glad I found you - my mother used to make the second pie by memory, but hadn't done so (that I'm aware of) for at least 10 years prior to her passing over two years ago. We looked through all her cookbooks but couldn't find a recipe. Now I can at least use the back of the check as a jumping on point with my family.

      John
      Originally from Pittsburgh, PA

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      1. Thanks so much for sharing that story, John. Hope the pie you make is just as you remember.

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