I know I'm a bit late to post this Creamy Peanut Butter Pie for Mikey, as Jennie requested they be made a couple Fridays ago.
But, I figured better late than never. And I imagine Jennie would agree.
If you missed my BLT with Chipotle Mayo post, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. Then again, if you paid any attention online over the past couple of weeks, it's been hard to miss the hundreds of people mentioning #apieformikey on twitter or foodies sharing this Creamy Peanut Butter Pie recipe and story on their blogs.
It's been pretty amazing. And horrible. All at once.
Recently, Jennie, a food blogger at In Jennie's Kitchen, lost her husband, Mikey, after he suffered a fatal heart attack. You can go here to read more. I have. A lot.
To those who offered their support, Jennie simply asked they make this Creamy Peanut Butter Pie for their loved ones. This was Mikey's favorite pie, but Jennie says she kept putting it off for "tomorrow," rather than making it for him. She wants us not to make the same mistake.
When I first heard of this story, in addition to feeling a profound sadness for Jennie and her family, I became paralyzed with the fear that this could happen to my loved ones at any time. I even put off making this pie because it seemed it would somehow make this reality all too real.
I created all sorts of excuses in my head for why not to make it.
- I already missed the date...
- I've never made a peanut butter pie...
- It's not on my diet...
- I don't even know Jennie...
- I don't have the time...
- I don't. I can't. I won't. I'm scared.
But, as the time progressed, I started to truly hear Jennie's message. We can only count on the present -- so why not try to enjoy every moment we have with our loved ones while we can?
Isn't that the whole point of all this anyway? To enjoy? Why not enjoy a deliciously rich and peanut buttery pie? Right?
So, I made this pie. For Dustin. For Jordan. For Savannah (though she can't yet eat solids). For Mikey. For Jennie. For their two young girls. For me. For all of us.
As I prepared the pie, I thought about Jennie and her family. About the memories she must cling to now.
I thought about her girls and how sad it is they lost their father so early in their lives.
I thought about my family. My wonderful husband and two amazing little girls. How my heart breaks at even the thought of Jordan and Savannah losing their father. Of me losing my partner in life.
This was the first peanut butter pie I ever made. And it won't be my last. I hope. Please pay it forward and share this pie with those you love dearly.
*Click here if you're interested in donating to Jennie's fund through Bloggers Without Borders.
Creamy Peanut Butter Pie
Recipe from In Jennie's Kitchen
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 spring-form 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 spring form pan. Drizzle the melted chocolate on top, if using, and refrigerate for three hours or overnight before serving.