Apparently today marks the one year anniversary of declaring this whole thing a pandemic. Kinda hard to believe. I was working at an elementary school at the time and I remember first hearing that schools would close for two weeks from middle school kids coming by the playground at recess and shouting it through the fence. The rumor was confirmed not long after and staff and students figured we’d see each other in a few short weeks. Then two weeks turned into six and then that turned into a very long time.
You’d think I’d have time to write some blog posts given that I’ve been home for a year. In the beginning I wasn’t even working at home, but between having a second kid and dealing with the energy of a sometimes napping toddler, it’s hard to get anything done. If you’re a parent you understand. Actually, as I type this I have a three and a half month old baby strapped to my chest so that he’ll sleep and my hands are free to do other things. In fact, the only reason that I was able to make this pie is because, once again, I had the baby in the carrier taking a nap and I wanted to make a pie. I needed to sleep, but I couldn’t sleep while wearing him so instead I made a pie.
Sunday is Pi Day (3/14) and every year it seems like an excellent excuse to make as many pies as I can get away with. However, depending on the year and the day I rarely have time. Also my daughter’s favorite book lately is one called Pickle Chiffon Pie. It’s a little silly and maybe a tad old-fashioned, but it made me think, Could we make an actually tasty pickle chiffon pie? I thought on that idea for about a minute before deciding that any old pie would satisfy my urge to bake. I usually make fruit pies like apple or blueberry, but the pickle chiffon pie idea inspired me to consider a different kind of pie. After pondering and searching recipes based on making a pie without an extra trip to the store, I settled upon this one. It reminds me of something you might get a diner. It is quite sweet and rich and maybe needs some tweaking before making again, but I am oh so glad I was able to make it. These days baking and cooking is something I daydream about when I’m having a particularly hard day. It’s my creative outlet. This past year has been a tough one, but I am grateful for the opportunity to bake, cook, and eat delicious things when I can.
What does one say on the one year anniversary of a pandemic? Happy … nah never mind!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
For this recipe I started with a Southern cooking recipe I found online and then made it my own – extra peanut butter and the addition of chocolate.
- Blind baked pie crust (homemade or store-bought)
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (we like unsweetened/natural)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 cups milk
- 3 eggs, divided
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 3 oz. quality dark chocolate
- 1/4 cup sugar
Start by making sure your pie crust is rolled out, ready, and baked slightly using pie weights or beans. After it’s baked preheat your oven to 325 and start your filling.
Streusel: In a small bowl mix 1/2 cup peanut butter, powdered sugar, oats, and one of the 1 teaspoons of vanilla. It should have a crumbly streusel consistency.
Custard: In a medium saucepan on the stove add your milk, egg yolks, 2/3 cup sugar and cornstarch. Whisk and turn on to medium to medium high heat. As it starts to heat up, continue whisking fairly frequently until it starts to thicken. Immediately remove from heat and stir in the 1/4 cup peanut butter and remaining 1 teaspoon of vanilla.
In a small bowl, break up your chocolate and melt in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time.
Meringue: In a medium bowl whisk egg whites until foamy. Gradually add the 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until medium peaks form.
Assemble your pie: sprinkle half of your streusel mixture over your crust and top with your peanut butter custard mixture. Dollop your melted chocolate into the custard and swirl gently with a knife. Save a tablespoon or two to drizzle on top if you’re feeling fancy. Top with your whipped meringue and spread to the edges. Sprinkle remaining streusel on top and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool at room temperature for about an hour or so and then refrigerate until nice and cold. Slice and enjoy!