Thursday, April 29, 2010
There is only one food that renders me truly weak in the knees: peanut butter. And I'm not talking about the "healthy", "organic," "natural" kind. I'm talking about what you grew up with: the thick, creamy (hold the crunch, please), sweet, salty, coat the roof of your mouth, glue two pieces of white bread together kind. That is the stuff I'm talking about. I love it between two crisp saltines. Or slathered into the center of celery. Or on toasted, whole-wheat bread drizzled with honey. Or, truth be told, straight up on a spoon. Maybe sprinkled with M&Ms. Have you ever done that? Instant dessert.
And, apparently, I like it in pie.
My college roommate Jennifer used to make candy-bar pie for us almost once a week. I remember it being easy to make, with Hershey bars, whipped topping and a graham-cracker crust, chilled until solid. We were kids back then, and it the dessert sweet spot for us. This pie is a lot like that, but it's good enough for adults. A homemade vanilla-wafer crust. Crushed, roasted peanuts sprinkled on top.
Yet it still appeals to the kid in all of us. It's got whipped topping in it, too. And powdered sugar. And my beloved peanut butter, of course.
Summer is right around the corner. The advent of afternoons running through the sprinkler will make a first appearance around here, soon, when I introduce Cash to the fun that is running through soft, skin-tickling drips of water. We will grill hot dogs on our patio and slather them with MiMi's chili and my homemade slaw. We will drop fresh blueberries in our lemonade to see whether they sink or float. And we will eat peanut-butter pie, sharing a piece, Cash and I. A bite for me. A bite for him. Then a toddler jaunt around the backyard to pick "flowers" for his mama or to chase down a football thrown by his daddy. Then back to mama for another bite of pie.
Yes. I think I'm ready for summer. And pie. I'm always ready for pie.
Peanut Butter Pie
Adapted from Taste of Home, via The Cookin' Sisters
I think this is a great pie to serve family during the week. It's easy and unfussy and easily tailored to suit your family's taste. Try it with a graham-cracker or chocolate-cookie crust. Drop some peanuts into the vanilla wafers when you pop them into the food processor. Leave off the peanuts when you serve it, and drizzle it with chocolate syrup instead. Good ideas abound!
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, softened
2 unbaked, 9-inch vanilla-wafer crusts
Dry roasted peanuts, chopped
1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter and milk until smooth.
2. Beat in confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time. Fold in whipped topping. Divide mixture in half an spoon into two prepared crusts.
3. Cover and chill a few hours. Sprinkle with peanuts before cutting.
Vanilla Wafer Crust
Adapted from AllRecipes
1 box vanilla wafers
1/3 cup melted butter
1. Chop vanilla wafers in a food processor until they form crumbs.
2. Stir in melted butter until mixture resembles wet sand.
3. Divide mixture in half and press into two pie plates.