Okay, I have a laundry list of tasks to do. One of them involves finally setting up my website and blog for my massage therapy. Speaking of blogging, I just cannot get over how delicious this peanut butter pie turns out as it looks like something that I, a self-taught chef, would even dream of making by appearance alone. But it’s foolproof and totally affordable. It’s also a special one because it was the first recipe I ever baked. Thirdly, it’s a fast free week before Apostles Fast so I am in a rush to share before Apostles Fast next week and it’s back to the dairy-free recipes around here for little while. It’s all I could think about it when it’s in the refrigerator and I can’t say no to more than one slice and I am usually not a big sweets person. It’s pretty much the perfect indulgence before a long break.
I grew up an introvert. Skiddish and soft spoken, I would hesitate when Father would tell us how the key to parish growth is for each parishioner to use their talents. I didn’t teach Sunday School. I can’t read music or much sing in harmony – so the choir was out. But I took a satisfaction in cooking and baking. “Why don’t you bake your peanut butter pie?” a yia-yia (Russian or Greek for elderly woman of the parish) would ask me before an upcoming coffee hour that I somehow got in charge of prep and clean-up with my mother.
So, I made this recipe only it wasn’t exactly this recipe.
And I had to make it again and again for church coffee hour to potlucks and friends. And within time, it was my baking that helped me become more outgoing. Because everyone loved it and yet they wanted to know who was the amazing little baker. Even though for awhile, this amazing little baker only knew how to bake this one pie. I never felt comfortable putting out any recipes that I experimented with on anyone. The church and my friends never deserved that. And yet this one pie was just made using a Keebler’s premade graham cracker crust but the filling was almost always exactly the same every time. It was so perfect and simple and cheap for potlucks to parties to the dreaded times when Aunt Flow visited. I can almost say it was a recipe that traveled with me through time and memory. It’s not a surprise at all that a good recipe gains time and memory. And throughout time, a good recipe ages well with a few tweaks. Sure, the filling of this peanut butter pie is still the same but I now mostly just make my own crust. It’s a huge difference from Keebler’s premade crust removing the taste of chemicals for the taste of an actual graham cracker crust with a touch of cinnamon that tastes like well, what dessert should taste like.
Peanut Butter Pie
For the crust
1 1/2 cups of graham crackers, finely ground using a food processor or high speed blender
6 tablespoons of Earth Balance or Melt brand butter, melted (I like to switch off between Earth Balance or Melt. Neither really is butter as it consists of oil. Ir’s essentially like using vegetable oil but much healthier. Melt is also non GMO and contains coconut oil!)
1/3 cup of white sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
For the filling
1/2 cup of organic creamy peanut butter
1 tub of whipped cream
80z of cream cheese
1 cup of confectioner’s sugar
1 tbsp of milk
For the topping
dark chocolate syrup, for drizzling on top!
First, make the crust. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Meanwhile, grind up the graham crackers into finely ground crumbs. Melt the butter on the stove or in the microwave. Add the graham crackers and the butter a oven safe pie plate along with the sugar and cinnamon. Mix together with a fork to create an even bottom layer crust. Bake crust in oven for 7 minutes.
Secondly, grab your mixer of choice or work with what you have. I made the peanut butter pie all three ways: with a kitchenaid mixer, a handheld mixer and a bowl and wooden spoon. It comes out great all three ways but my favorite way is with the kitchenaid mixer. Mix in the ingredients for the filling, creaming the cream cheese and sugar first and then add in everything else scraping down the bowl to incorporate everything.
Thirdly, remove crust from oven and pour filling into pie plate. Drizzle with chocolate syrup. Cover with a plastic wrap or lid and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.