I made a pie for Mikey.
"Why?" I asked myself that question.
I didn't know Mikey.
I never met his loving wife, Jennie, or his young daughter who laid so trustingly in his arms as he danced her around the family's living room.
But, still, I felt the tremors that shook the food blogging community last week as the words "He's gone..." echoed through our world.
I know those words. As a wife and mother, I dread those words. My heart went out to Jennie the instant I heard them. Compassion swelled among her friends as they spread the word on Twitter, as well. Messages of comfort and strength passed through my phone. So warm. So intimate. As a new member of the food blogging community, I felt as if I had trespassed on their private moment.
Quietly, I retweeted each of their wishes and tributes to Mike. Then, a request came from Jennie. A request to remember her husband by making his favorite pie for the people we love. To take the moment she did not have and use it to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us.
"She doesn't mean me," I told myself. "She means her friends; people who knew Mike."
Word of Mikey's Peanut Butter Pie spread quickly. Food Bloggers posted pictures of their pies all over the web. On Friday, it was picked up by CNN and the Food Network. So many people had made peanut butter pies for Mikey.
"It's too late," I told myself. "Besides, my kids are older with absolutely no plans to spend the weekend with me. So, why would I make a whole pie for just my husband and me?"
That's when it hit me. Jennie was talking to me. She meant for me to take her moment and tell my husband, the man that has been at my side for 32 years, how much he means to me. Right now. Today.
I made a pie for Mikey.
"Why?" I needed to.
This is the recipe for Mikey's favorite pie copied exactly as it is on Jennie's website. Please make it for someone you love. You can tell them about Mike and Jennie or, you can just smile and hug them. Jennie and Mike will love that.
Creamy Peanut Butter Pie
By Jennifer Perillo
Serves 10 to 12
8 ounces chocolate cookies
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 ounces finely chopped chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
¼ 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 ⅓ 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.
If you have dietary restrictions and would like to make a peanut butter pie for someone you love, here are a few specialty pies from around the web.
Frozen Peanut Butter Pie (Dairy-Free) by KItchen Travels
Peanut Butter Pie, Gluten-Free by Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef
Sunbutter Pie, a Nut Free Version by Mommy Hates Cooking
-posted by Sandy
I made this pie for my wonderful husband who is undergoing chemotherapy and preparing for stem cell harvesting the end of the month. We had it last evening with friends, after dinner. What an incredible pie! What an incredible husband!!
Thank you for your wonderful comment. Our hearts are with you and your husband and we send our warmest wishes to you both. Cancer is such a vicious foe. My husband's father was a cancer survivor and my mother is fighting it now. I know you two, together, can beat it.