Years ago, when I was in elementary school, my parents and I visited Savannah, Georgia. We ate dinner one night at The Olde Pink House and had a dessert that was so delicious that my mother bought their cookbook solely for that one particular recipe. 😉 It was this peanut butter pie – and it’s unlike any other peanut butter pie I’d ever tasted, before or since. Around our house, we love peanut butter pie of any variety…but this one is still our very favorite. I’ve gotta be honest, it’s not quite as quick and easy to make as other pb pie recipes, so it’s a Special Treat when we do make it. And since we’re coming up on Pie Season, aka The Holidays, I thought now would be a good time to share it!
But – really – it’s not difficult. It’s just got a few extra steps. And I’ll be right here, walking you through the whole process. Because you should definitely learn to make this pie. Your family will look at you with new respect and speak of this peanut butter pie in hushed tones, with their hands over their heart. (I’m only kinda kidding. 😉 )
You’ll make a pie crust. And if you’re scared of pie crust, let’s go ahead and jump that (tiny) hurdle right now. This is actually my go-to pie crust (not the original recipe from the pie in The Olde Pink House cookbook) that I use for, literally, every pie that gets made in my kitchen. Even if I make a savory pie (we love tomato pies decked out with basil, garlic, cheese, and bacon for summer meals around here!) I use this easy pie crust recipe and just leave out most of the sugar.
This pie crust is pour-everything-into-a-bowl-and-stir. And then you don’t even have to roll it out. In fact, it’s too delicate to do that. So you just press it into the pie pan, poke a few holes so it won’t bubble up during baking, and voila! Done. You can totally do this. And it’s TOTALLY worth it. You’ll never go back to bought pie crust again. 😉
Next you’ll mix up the peanut butter and powdered sugar until they become tiny crumbs of deliciousness. And set aside.
The next step is making a homemade vanilla custard. Wait, wait, wait! Don’t click away yet. 😉 Stay with me. You only mix up a few ingredients, make sure the eggs don’t turn into scrambled eggs (aka, “tempering” the eggs) when it comes time to add the heat, and then…it’s kind of like a fun science experiment. So gather your kiddos around and watch the liquid turn into a pudding on your stovetop. And believe you me – this is no boxed pudding taste – this is the Real Deal. Super yum!
Once the pie crust is baked and cooled, you sprinkle half of the peanut butter crumbs in the bottom, then top it with the cooled homemade custard.
For the final step, you’ll whip some sweetened heavy cream, spread it on top of the pie – and then gleefully sprinkle the rest of the peanut butter crumbs right on the top. And prepare to amaze your family. 😉
- 1.5 c. all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c. canola oil
- 3 Tbsp. milk
- 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- 3 egg yolks
- 2/3 c. sugar
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1/4 c. cornstarch
- 2 c. milk, scalded (whole milk is perfect; you can also use a mixture of skim + half & half)
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 c. whipping (heavy) cream
- 2-3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix together and press into a 9" pie pan.
- (This dough is too soft to roll out and then transfer to pie pans. It works better to pat it into a circle, place it into the pie pan, then press it out and up the sides with your fingers.)
- Flute the edges.
- Prick the entire surface area with fork tines so the crust won't bubble up during baking.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes or until lightly browned. (I usually have to broil it a minute or 2 at the end.)
- Blend the peanut butter and powdered sugar together in a small mixing bowl.
- Set aside.
- Mix the egg yolks first with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
- Add sugar, salt, and cornstarch and beat in.
- If you don't have a double boiler, start heating several quarts of water to boiling in a large stockpot; find a large metal bowl that will sit on the top.*
- Scald milk by heating it until almost boiling.
- Add scalded milk, a little at a time, to egg mixture, whisking constantly. (This ensures that the eggs won't turn into scrambled eggs.)
- Return custard mixture to the double boiler.
- Starting at medium and raising to medium high to cook, whisk mixture constantly.
- Remove bowl from heat once thickened enough.
- Add the butter and vanilla, scraping down the sides often to keep the edges from continuing cooking.
- Once pie crust is cool, sprinkle half of the peanut butter crumbles in the bottom.
- Pour the warm custard over the peanut butter mixture.
- Let cool.
- Whip the cream and powdered sugar for several minutes with your mixer.
- Spread over cooled custard.
- Sprinkle remaining peanut butter crumbles over the top.
- Refrigerate for several hours or overnight for ease of cutting.
- *Be extremely careful with your makeshift double boiler. Any steam escaping from the sides will be Very Hot!