I don't know Jennifer Perillo. We have never met, tweeted or emailed but like everyone else last week, when I heard about the sudden loss of her husband Mikey, I became a part of her large internet food family. Her loss was felt by all of us as we looked at our families, our loved ones and realized how temporary everything really is.
Jennie asked only one thing of us in memory of her husband. She asked each of us to make a pie for Mikey . She asked that it be a peanut butter pie, his favorite. I'd never made a peanut butter pie before, but I remembered a recipe that I'd been given back when I was 21 years old by singing cowboy movie star Gene Autry. He was the owner of the radio station I was on in Los Angeles, and we frequently had lunch together. Dessert was always his favorite peanut butter cream pie made by his personal chef Bob Harris. Even though I wasn't cooking much at the time and certainly had no one but myself to cook for, I asked him for the recipe and he gave it to me. I tucked it away in my recipe box promising myself to one day make it for my family (when I had a family). Well, life happens, we get busy and I forgot all about it. Somehow, I never got around to making the peanut butter cream pie.
Until I heard about Mikey and his pie and I desperately wanted to make that forgotten peanut butter cream pie for Alan. After 31 years of marriage, it was time. It took a while to find the recipe, but there it was, the paper folded in half, tearing in spots and browning at the edges.
In Mikeys' honor, here it is:
Peanut Butter Cream Pie
My crust was a chocolate/graham cracker chili. The recipe is here
In a large bowl cream together:
1 cup of creamy peanut butter
I Tbs of vanilla
Whip 1 cup of whipping cream.
I melted about 6 oz of Valhrona dark chocolate with 4 Tbs of unsalted butter added about 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of low fat evaporated milk and a pinch of salt for a salty, tangy, bittersweet, fudgy glaze to compliment the sweetness of the pie.
Ice the firmly set pie and put it back into the fridge for at least another 30 minutes.
After that, you're on your own.
So there it is, the pie that it took a bit over three decades to make. It was time, for Mikey and for my family too. The pie is a reminder to cherish life in every bite. All of us really are on loan to each other. We must treat each other gently. And eat pie. Jennie, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your girls and Mikey.