This peanut butter pie is creamy, chocolatey and everything you’d expect from a peanut butter pie. Made specifically for Mikey Perillo, as requested by his wife, Jennie, it will forever serve as a reminder to hold those closest to you daily and tell them how much you love them.
I’ve been staring at the screen since Monday, unable to find the words. Writer’s block isn’t necessarily a new thing, but that’s not what I’m suffering from. Instead, there is only a heart, breaking for a friend, and the inability to properly tell you about the pain or ignore it away so that I can move on to share happier things.
Then again, this is the sort of pain that is best dealt with head on, facing and confronting it, acknowledging the sadness so as not to forget, to never forget.
Don’t forget the dancing, the kind words or the tender heart. While scents may fade, keep a tight hold on the love that was there and is there still.
On Sunday, Mikey Perillo died of a sudden heart attack, leaving behind his wife and two young daughters. Jennie’s words since then have been so perfectly poignant, resting on the hearts of those who never knew them and of those who knew them well and touching them. Changing them.
Today, the community of food writers and food bloggers and friends reached out in love to fulfill a request. A request by one of the kindest, caring, selfless people I have yet to meet. I’m honored to have shared a table with her, to have heard her speak so lovingly of her Mikey, to have seen her face light up with love as she said his name.
Jennie, please know that you are loved, and thank you for being strong enough to remind us all to cherish what we have and possess. May you never forget the one who loved you most.
8 ounces chocolate cookies
4 tablespoons butter, melted
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped finely
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1 cup heavy cream
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
In a food processor, pulse cookies until crumbled with no large chunks. Pulse in melted butter. Press the crust into the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ springform pan. Melt chocolate in a double boiler. Spread 2/3 of the chocolate on the bottom of the cookie crust using a pastry brush. Sprinkle the peanuts over the melted chocolate. Keep the other in the double boiler over the hot water to remain melted.
Beat cream until stiff and fluffy. Set aside. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream the cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in the peanut butter, and then slowly add in powdered sugar until incorporated. Mix in sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and lemon juice. Fold in 1/3 of the whipped cream and then mix in the remaining. Pour the peanut butter filling into the prepared crust. Drizzle the remaining melted chocolate onto the top of the peanut butter filling. Swirl with a knife
Refrigerate the pie for at least 3 hours. Serve with extra whipped cream and roasted peanuts, if desired.
Makes 10-12 servings.