Creamy, peanuty, chocolately, delicious. Yes, this pie is all of those things.
And it is so much more.
A few weeks ago, a number of food bloggers began posting this peanut butter pie recipe on their blogs. That happens sometimes, when a particular recipe piques the interest of the food blogosphere. But this was something else.
It turns out that a fellow food blogger had just unexpectedly lost her husband Mikey.
In her intense grief, Jennifer posted the following on her blog, In Jennie’s Kitchen:
“Mikey loved peanut butter cream pie. I haven't made it in a while, and I've had it on my to-do list for a while now.
I kept telling myself I would make it for him tomorrow. Time has suddenly stood still, though, and I'm waiting to wake up and learn to live a new kind of normal. For those asking what they can do to help my healing process, make a peanut butter pie this Friday and share it with someone you love. Then hug them like there's no tomorrow because today is the only guarantee we can count on.”
I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t make a peanut butter pie that Friday. As always, life got in the way.
Soon after, we were invited to a barbecue on September 11th. Ten years to the day when so many people unexpectedly lost loved ones. I knew then I had to make this pie, no excuses.
On the surface this pie was a simple gesture, a dessert to please a crowd. But to me, it was a tribute to those lost on that horrific day ten years ago, and a way to honor Jennifer’s appeal to be grateful for the living.
Pulse the cookies into fine crumbs in a food processor. I put the cookies in a plastic bag and pressed gently with the smooth side of a meat mallet. Same result, less cleanup.
Stir the melted butter into the cookie crumbs. Press them into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch spring form or tart pan with a removable bottom. A pie dish would also work.
Melt the chocolate. I like to do this in the microwave. Put chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, then continue to heat and stir, for 30 seconds at a time.
Pour the melted chocolate over the cookie crust and spread it evenly.
Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate. Refrigerate the crust while you prepare the filling.
Creamy Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie
Recipe by Jennifer Perillo
8 ounces chocolate cookies
4 Tbsp butter, melted
4 ounces finely chopped chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ cup chopped peanuts
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1. Add the cookies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Alternatively, place the cookies in a plastic bag and press gently with a mallet until cookies are broken into fine crumbs.
2. 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 (a pie dish or tart pan with removable bottom would also work).
3. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. (If melting in the microwave, heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring the chocolate in between.)
4. Pour the melted chocolate over the cookie crust and spread to the edges using an offset spatula. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate. Place pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. Pour the filling into the prepared springform pan. Drizzle the melted chocolate on top.
9. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight before serving.