Monday, August 15, 2011

A Pie For Mikey, A Piece For Us All.

   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

 As to the filling: Here's Genes' Pie
   In a large bowl cream together:
    1 cup of creamy peanut butter
 An 8 oz package of neufchatel cheese
 1 cup of sugar
 When those two are soft and creamy add in :
   I Tbs of vanilla
  2 Tbs of melted butter
 Whip 1 cup of whipping cream.
Fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter/cream cheese mixture.
 Then, pour the filling into the pie crust.
 Fill the crust and smooth things out.
 Take the pie and pop it into the fridge for 4 to 5 hours until it's well set.
 Now for the topping.
 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.
 Gene used to bring out a plain old pitcher of warm fudge sauce ( straight outta the jar) which works well too.
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.


  1. nice of u to make this pie for mikey...
    and the pie looks very tempting...

  2. What a beautiful cake, I love all the explanations in pictures, I really want to thank you for sharing with us
    My English is very basic I go through a translator
    good week
    A + + Sacha

  3. Oh Kathy, this is a pie worth waiting 30 years for! Although from now on, you should make it more often... Such a beautiful tribute to Mikey.

  4. This came out wonderful
    I am sure Alan thought it was worth the wait, you did a great tribute to a fellow foodie very heartfelt... so sad for her.

  5. I have been so impressed by the sense of community amongst the food blogs of the world. Every time I see a pb pie, I am proud to belong.

  6. How sweet of you! A lovely tribute to Mikey plus a delicious treat for your hubby~

  7. I love how this recipe takes Jennie's message about not waiting until tomorrow to a whole new level... plus it's a pretty awesome backstory, all on its own.
    We're all peanut-butter-pied out right now, since I made a pie of my own last weekend in Mikey's honour, but I'll have to give Gene's version a whirl next time I'm craving a tooth-achingly sweet treat.

  8. Read the original post too so sad but emphasising memories for all of us, including recipes. Interesting post to link to Gene, thanks for sharing.



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