Musical pairing – Say by John Mayer
Debra and I had already planned a post for my childhood Peanut Butter Pie; and in fact, we had been discussing it for more than a month when we received the news that one of our blogging friends had lost her husband unexpectedly from a massive heart attack this past weekend; he was 51 years old. The news was shocking, devastating and heartbreaking; and even though we’ve never met Jennie in real life, Debra has followed her blog for quite some time and has had many a 140-character twitter conversation – some may think one can’t have a real ‘friendship’ via twitter, but that simply isn’t true; all you have to do is look at Jennie’s twitter feed this week to see the outpouring of love, concern and real prayers for Jennie and her two young daughters from all over the world – yes, I said all over the world.
While the tears are still fresh and emotions are raw, we find ourselves spending a few extra minutes during the day saying ‘I love you’ and telling one another how grateful we are to have each other; we hold hands more, a light brush on an arm, a passing touch on a foot and sometimes, simply watch the other one cook, read, write a blog post or sleep. The news of Mikey’s death came on the heels of losing our neighbor of nine years – also unexpectedly – about 10 days prior; our neighbor was a 40-year-old father who leaves an 8-year-old-daughter. So this week hasn’t been easy and many, many tears have been cried – for Jennie and for others who have suffered loss.
Jennie wrote this post and asked us to make Peanut Butter Pie – it was Mikey’s favorite so she’s making one for him today; she asked us to join her in his memory. And so you’ll be seeing hundreds of Peanut Butter Pie recipes all over the blogosphere: mothers, daughters, sisters, brothers and this husband, this Professor – who also happens to love Peanut Butter Pie – we are posting our creations for Jennie in Mikey’s honor and we are sharing them with those we love.
As I said, Debra and I have been talking about my own memories of Peanut Butter Pie. My mother will tell you that I loved experimenting in the kitchen as a child. Some of my experiments were disasters and all of them resulted in huge messes in the kitchen. Imagine a boy coming home after picking buckets of mulberries, stained from head to toe, and deciding to make a pie. Imagine a boy trying to save a fledgling Robin and wanting to feed it – so he created his own special Robin food – in the blender – worms included. Yep – I’m a legend for that one!
While I’m sure I tested my Mom’s patience, she was also encouraging and supportive of my creative endeavors in the kitchen. The kitchen was never a place to be feared or avoided as a child, and I believe that upbringing fostered my joy of cooking as an adult. Thanks, Mom!
One pie that I made at least a dozen times was a Peanut Butter pie. It was really easy, and everyone seemed to love it. As a kid, I used pudding mix and whipped topping in a tub. Debra and I have recreated a version here from scratch, and I must say that it brings back memories of that little boy . . . and the pie tastes even better; plus, the sugar rush is much more manageable in a shot glass size!
Let your kids experiment in the kitchen – you might be changing a life; just don’t mention ‘worms’ and ‘blender’ in the same sentence.
And Mikey ~ here’s to you, Jennie, your beautiful daughters and your love of Peanut Butter Pie . . .
PEANUT BUTTER BANANA PIE-SHOTS™
For about 12 Pie-Shots
For the Peanut Butter Pretzel Layer:
- 2 cups (5 oz.) of peanut butter pretzel nuggets (regular pretzels would work, too)
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup peanut butter
For the Pudding Layer:
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 large egg yolks
- Seeds from 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
For the Banana Layer:
- 1 Banana
For the Whipped Cream Layer:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- pinch of salt
- For the Peanut Butter Pretzel Layer: Blitz the pretzel nuggets, powdered sugar and peanut butter in a food processor for about 1 minute, until it’s a fine crumbly mixture. Set aside.
- For the Pudding Layer: Heat the pudding ingredients over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it just begins to boil and thicken. Remove from heat, set aside and let cool.
- For the Banana Layer: Cut the banana into ¼” coins. Set aside.
- For the Whipped Cream Layer: Whisk the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and salt until soft peaks form.
- Press about 2 Tablespoons of the Peanut Butter Pretzel mix into the bottom of a shot glass.
- Top with one or two Banana slices
- Top with about 2 Tablespoons of Pudding
- Finish with a layer of Whipped Cream (a piping bag makes this easier and prettier)
- Garnish with a bit of the Peanut Butter Pretzel mix
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I love the idea of the “pie shot” great idea for a party! love the post!
Thanks for the sweet words, son. I love your peanut butter pie! The worms? Not so much. The blended worms were a surprise in a bowl that I found in the refrigerator when I came home from a meeting one evening. We got rid of that blender soon after. I have friends who still refuse to eat anything blended at our house. But it has made a wonderful story to tell all these years!
Great recipe, Professor and such a lovey post. I’m so sad for the loss of your neighbor. Every moment in life is precious. I’m waiting for my little guy to want to experiment with things like worms in a blender:)
Beautiful post….beautiful “pie” shots. ♥
I love to get my kids involved with me in the kitchen. And they love to do it too. Glad to hear your childhood experiences had such a positive, significant impact on your life! These look amazing! I too have had a heavy heart this week and have taken the extra time to show to my loved ones how much they mean to me — something I often take for granted in my hustle, bustle life — (and also shared a delicious peanut butter pie with them here in Positano, Italy.).
I love the mini-sized version, and yes, you can have real and true relationships based solely online. My heart is breaking for Jennie and those sweet girls.
This is so wonderful and creative. I love the TM 🙂 And I’m grateful to be part of this community with you guys!
What a wonderful tribute to Mikey. Life can be so fleeting, I know I take it for granted too often. Unfortunately, it is when death comes a bit too close to us, that we take a “time out” to appreciate our loved ones that are often right next to us day in and day out.
One of the reasons why I love this blog so much. It’s not just about food. It’s food plus HEART. How food connects us. You guys are amazing. All my love and prayers go out to Jennie.
Lovely little pie shots. Along the lines of what I have in mind for my tribute to Jennie and family. Wonderful that we can all come together for them at this tragic time 🙂
This has been a difficult week, a difficult day even more. But in all of the attendant sadness I can’t help but notice the love and creativity of all of the bloggers who have participated…this is a great ‘pie’ Deb!
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Beautiful post. Just beautiful.
So well said, and perfect musical pairing as well. I am so glad you and Deb have each other.
Absolutely beautiful, Professor!
Beautiful post and I love the shots. Hugs!
A beautiful post. I can just imagine that little boy in the kitchen….I bake every Friday afternoon with my grandsons and we love our time together in my kitchen. I too shared a pie for Mikey today…hugs xx
Such a beautifully written post. I’m so sorry for Jennie’s loss and I’m so sorry for the loss of your neighbor. So heartbreaking for children to lose their parent(s) at a young age.
The Professor, you did it again. What a nice spin on the peanut butter pie. Hope you and Deb are enjoying your mini-sugar high:)
Beautifully written. It’s so inspiring to read through all of these posts and see how people put their thoughts on loss into words. It’s truly an honor to read everything that people have shared.
What a beautiful post, Professor. I have never had a conversation with Jennie and do not know her, but I can see from all of the posts and outpouring of concern on Twitter, that she and her family are loved. It is a terrible tragedy to lose your spouse and my heart goes out to Jennie and her family at this sad time in their lives.
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Worms in a blender?! You are my kind of guy! lol So glad you were encouraged to play and explore in the kitchen. You’re so right–it shouldn’t be a place of “don’t touch that!” but of “let’s see what we can cook/bake up!”
I love your pie shots, and with the banana, I’m sure Elvis would love them, too. It has been so lovely to read everyone’s tributes to Mikey and Jennie today.
I won’t be making peanut butter pie today – my own Mikey is having extensive dental work today, and the two don’t mesh. But, I’m also thinking of Jennie and her Mikey today and sending their family my prayers & virtual hugs.
I love your take on the pie, Professor. Sounds like a delicious and fitting tribute.
Absoultely lovely post and pie!
It’s so important to let our kids in the kitchen.
Just beautiful – the post and the pie. So amazing to see all of this support through the blog world!
I have never known or met Jennie but my heart aches for her loss. A great tribute guys!
This is an absolutely beautiful post. It’s so moving to see all the love and support for Jennifer and her girls across the interwebs.
I love the pie shots. Gorgeous!!
Lovely…such a beautiful post for Jennie & her husband. I finally got to meet Jennie in person recently at BSP, but I felt like I already knew her. Twitter is an amazing thing. My heart is still weeping for her loss.
Beautiful post and recipe! I love the idea of the pretzel crust.
Lovely post. I still have a lump in my throat after learning of this horrible news. Your Peanut butter banana pie shots are beautiful way to honor. Miss you – sending hugs.
Beautiful post… wonderful words. This recipe looks really good, I love how you presented it. 🙂
What a beautiful tribute to Jennie and Mike, to the blogosphere and to each other. I can type no more through my tears.
A beautiful post by the Professor. So wonderful to see all the support for Jennie all over the world.
I never met Jennifer, but there are no words….making a pie seemed little enough. Your pie shots are beautifully creative and lovely tribute…