01 December 2012

Tried and True Recipes: Peanut Butter Pie

Growing up, we always ate this pie for my Dad’s birthday. I’ve started doing the same for my birthday.  My birthday is right between H’s and N’s, so I’m generally not in the mood for more cake. But I am ALWAYS in the mood for celebrating with something sweet.

I used to think it was the most complicated recipe and that it took my Mom the whole day to make it. And while it is quite a bit more complicated than a box cake mix and a jar of icing, it’s not much more complicated than a lot of things I’ve learned to cook here in the desert. Here we do things from scratch… so most recipes have more components to prepare and take longer anyway.

What I’m saying is that it used to be such a long and complicated recipe to me, but now it’s just a little longer than average.

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Here we go. There are four components:

1. A pre-baked pie crust Your favorite recipe will do. Or google it. Or get a  pre-prepared one from the freezer section if you want. Doesn’t matter. I did my crust from scratch a couple days ahead of time and froze it and then thawed it when I was ready for the rest of the pie.

2. Peanut Butter Crumbles Mix 1/3 cup peanut butter with 3/4 cup confectioners sugar. Should look mealy. I also did this ahead of time and kept it in the fridge. I’m a do-things-ahead-if-I-can kinda gal, in case you never noticed.

3. Pie Filling

2 cups scalded milk (heat it in a pot on the stove until just the edges start to bubble)

3 beaten egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)

1/3 cup flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 T butter

1/2 t vanilla

Combine flour, sugar, milk and salt in a double boiler. Cook over boiling water until thick. Stir in egg yolks gradually. Cook a few minutes longer. Add butter and vanilla and stir. Cool slightly.

4. Meringue (I do this while my filling cools a bit)

3 egg whites

1/4 t cream of tarter

1/2 c sugar

1 t cornstarch

Beat egg whites until foamy, add cream of tarter, then mix cornstarch and sugar together and add gradually, beating well between additions. Beat until stiff.

Now, putting it all together…

-Sprinkle two-thirds of peanut butter crumble on baked pie shell

-Pour pie filling over the peanut butter crumble. (If mine looks lumpy, then I push it through a sieve on the way.)

-Spread meringue on top of filling.

-Sprinkle remainder of peanut butter crumble on top of meringue.

-Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

-Cool, then chill before serving

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Oh my word. This is a delicious pie. Thanks Mama, for the recipe!

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