Aunt Kathy’s Birthday Pie

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 large egg yolks, beaten

2 (or 3) tablespoons cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

3 cups whole milk

1 cup smooth natural peanut butter

One 8 or 9-inch chocolate Oreo crust (see recipe below)

1 cup heavy cream or can of whipped cream

Mini chocolate and peanut butter chips, for garnish

Normally, I do not write about peanuts because so many kids are allergic to them. But myScreen Shot 2016-02-22 at 1.08.52 PM bestest friend’s birthday was recently, and her favoritest thing is peanut butter pie. So….that’s what I made. And really, you can too. (If someone in your family is allergic to peanuts, I recommend using Wow Butter. It’s a terrific tasting substitute.)

The entire pie making is about 45 minutes, including the crust. The chilling takes a minimum of 4 hours.

(Photo credit: My talented niece, Claire D’Alessandro)

Make the crust:

25 Oreos. I used peanut butter filled Oreos. Any kind will do.

5 TB melted margarine or butter

Crush the Oreos. I used a food processor. Little ones can help out by putting the Oreos in a plastic bag and rolling over them with a rolling pin. Alot. Remember to keep the bag open a tiny bit to let the air out. Otherwise, the bag will pop and you’ll have an Oreo mess.

Add the melted butter to the Oreos. Press into a greased 8-in pie plate.

You are done. (If you want a crisper crust, like I do, bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees. But it’s unnecessary and if it’s hot out, completely forget I said anything.)

Now, the pie.

  1. Whisk together the granulated sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch, salt and 1/3 cup of the milk in a large bowl.
  2. Heat the remaining 2 2/3 cups milk in a large saucepan over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat.
  3. Now you are going to temper the liquid and it is not hard at all. Just GO SLOW. If you do not go SLOWLY, you will have scrambled eggs.
  4. Gradually whisk one cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture until smooth. Then gradually whisk that egg mixture into the saucepan with the remaining milk. There, it’s tempered. (If there are small bits of egg, start over. Eggs are cheap, don’t worry about it.)
  5. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, and cook, continuing to whisk, until the mixture thickens, 6 to 8 minutes. It should be thick like a runny pudding, coating your spoon nicely. It’s not too far from finished at this point. BUT: If you think it’s too runny, put a couple of tablespoons of the pudding mixture into a small cup. Add 1 TB cornstarch and stir until smooth. Slowly pour that back into your egg and milk mixture and cook another 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter half a cup at a time until melted. Transfer to a non-metallic bowl and let cool slightly, stirring a few times to prevent a skin from forming. Non-metallic helps the pudding cool faster. For a super smooth filling, use a stick (immersible/hand) blender and blend the ingredients for about a minute. This also helps to cool the filling.
  7. Pour the pudding into the crust, and smooth it out so that it goes right to the edges of the pie crust. Press plastic wrap onto the surface and chill until set, at least 4 hours.
  8. When ready to serve, whip the heavy cream in a large, chilled mixing bowl with a hand mixer until peaks form. You can add light corn starch or confectionary sugar while beating if you want it sweet — but the pie is (for me) sweet enough especially after you garnish it. (If you’re pooped, just use a can of whipped cream.)
  9. Top the pie with the whipped cream and sprinkle generously with peanut and chocolate chips.

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