Thursday, November 11, 2010

In Memory: Peanut Butter Pie

My grandmother (we called her Grammie) passed away this past year.  She is dearly missed.  When I think of her I think of her love of God and family.  I think of her interest in all of us and the many prayers she offered up on our behalf.  I think of her love of walks in the woods, singing hymns and gospel music.  And I think of her expressions of love through food.

She gardened, canned, baked, cooked, baked and baked and baked some more.  And she was good at it.  If Grammie found out you really liked something, she would make it special for you when you came.  It became known that her Peanut Butter Pie was my younger brother's favorite.  I'm not sure how he was singled out because we all loved it, but it became his special dessert.  It was so good.  I can taste it just sitting here and the pie has been gone for a good three days.

I've been looking for a special occasion to make her Peanut Butter Pie again and this past week I had an opportunity.  My parents and my Pop Pop (Grammie's husband) were here for the weekend and my dad had recently had a birthday, so I decided to make it for him...and Pop Pop...and my mom (Grammie's daughter).  Oh, and for me:-).

This is a special occasion pie for a few reasons.  First, it's incredibly rich.  Second, it's incredibly sweet.  Third, it's a tad involved.  But, do not...I repeat, do not...change this recipe or write it off as too involved.  It's perfect the way it is and the instructions are simple.

Grammie's Peanut Butter Pie (my grandmother's recipe)
Makes 1 pie

1 package graham crackers, crushed into crumbs (1/3 of a box)
1/2 cup softened butter
1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
2/3 cup sugar

2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup milk
3 egg yolks, beaten (save the whites!)
1 tbsp. vanilla
2 cups milk

3 egg whites
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar

To prepare the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, softened butter and sugar in a small bowl until well-blended.   Press the crumbs into a 9-inch pie plate and bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes.  Set aside.

 unbaked crust

To prepare the crumbs, combine powdered sugar, peanut butter and white sugar in a small bowl until they resemble coarse crumbs.  Set aside.


To prepare the custard, combine sugar, cornstarch, 1/2 cup of milk, beaten egg yolks (save the whites!) and vanilla in a bowl until well mixed.  Pour 2 cups of milk into a medium-sized saucepan and add egg yolk mixture.  Cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk until thick and bubbly.  Reduce heat and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Set aside and let cool to almost room temperature (can be slightly warm).

Now, go fold laundry, read to the kids, sweep your kitchen floor or pay some bills until the custard has cooled to barely warm.

Sprinkle 1 1/4 cups of the crumbs onto the bottom of the graham cracker crust.  Pour the cooled custard over the crumbs.  Set aside.

To prepare the meringue, use the whisk attachment of your stand mixer (or hand mixer) to beat the egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar until frothy.  Slowly add the sugar.  Beat on high until stiff peaks form.  Spread the meringue over the custard and sprinkle the remaining crumbs on top. 


Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until the meringue and crumbs have begun to brown.

This pie is best served chilled, so let the pie cool completely and then refrigerate it several hours to overnight to allow it to set. 

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  1. I am moved at your generosity in sharing your family recipes. This is extra special with the connection to your Grammy.
    I saw the quote on your sidebar about sharing ideas. Thanks for living what you believe. Your kindness touched a heart today.
    Thank you.

  2. Whenever I eat peaunt butter pie I always think of Grammy, hope you guys had a fun weekend!

  3. Two years ago, this very day, I posted an almost-identical peanut butter cream pie recipe. What is it about November and peanut butter pie, huh?

  4. This looks divine! I can't wait to try it! :D

  5. You have no idea how excited I am to try this recipe....thank you! :)

  6. I LOVE Grammie's Peanut Butter Pie!! I can slmost taste it just looking at these pictures!

  7. What a nice recipe to remember your Grammie with. This sounds amazing.

  8. Hi!
    I just found you tonight. I've been reading some of your posts and find I don't want to miss anything!

    I'm adding you to my blog list in my sidebar.
    Do drop in for a visit!


  9. This is just like my mom's pb pie! She got her recipe back in the 50s from an Alabama restaurant along a highway when she and my dad were going to Florida! I love it!

  10. This looks wonderful. My DH loves peanut butter so I plan to make this for him.



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