As I perused through Tastespotting.com, I noticed an influx of recipes for peanut buttter pie. I was intrigued and opened a recipe to save for later. Little did I know that the reason for the sky-rocketing popularity of this dessert had a deeper, more emotional meaning.
As I continued my research, I fell upon the story of Jennie and Mikey. Jennie, a popular food blogger had just endured something I couldn't even imagine having to deal with. Her husband suddenly died from a heart attack.
"A Pie for Mikey" was created and went viral (if you ask me!) Peanut Butter Pie was Mikey's favorite, and became a way for people around the nation to show their support for Jennie and her family.
The one year anniversary of my Grandfather passing from a sudden heart attack and my father suffering one shortly after is quickly approaching, and this story has given me the opportunity to stop, and love the people around me and, like Jennie said, hug them like there's no tomorrow.
I couldn't wait to make this pie, 1) because I got to use my new spring form pan, and 2) I love baking for a reason.
My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to you Jennie and your family! Stay strong.
Creamy Peanut Butter Pie
Serves 10 to 12
8 ounces chocolate cookies
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 ounces finely chopped chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup creamy-style peanut butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Add the cookies to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. 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.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Pour over bottom of cookie crust and spread to the edges using an off-set spatula. Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the melted chocolate. Place pan in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
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. 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.
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. Pour the filling into the prepared springform pan. Drizzle the melted chocolate on top, if using, and refrigerate for three hours or overnight before serving.