All aboard the Tardis! 🙂 Let’s take a trip back in time to discover somethin’ yummy. It’s old fashioned peanut butter meringue pie. Peanut butter. Vanilla custard. Meringue. Flaky crust. It’s all here and it’s all beautiful. I’ll try not to weep. I’m not sure I’d fight a Dalek off in order to get a slice of this…a Cyberman maybe. They always seemed a little more easily thwarted. Plus, they don’t have mouths so I’m not sure they’d want pie anyway. Hmm.
Steering the conversation back toward sanity now…I think you’re going to dig this one. It’s an oldie, but a goodie. Unlike a lot of peanut butter pies, this one doesn’t have a custard made of peanut butter. Instead, a peanut butter mixture is dolloped onto the crust first, then this is covered with vanilla custard, then topped with lovely meringue.
Why is it done this way? Um. *shoulder shrug* It’s a Nancy Drew mystery! It’s old timey, that’s why. 😛 They didn’t have time to fool around. They had cows to milk, wood to chop, dust bowl dirt to sweep out of their houses. They wanted a pie, and they wanted one fast. So let’s not talk back to our elders, all right? 🙂 They knew what they were doing.
Still need convincing? As LeVar Burton used to say on Reading Rainbow, “You don’t have to take my word for it.” The moment Oliver Twist, the crust lover, heard me sliding the metal pie pan on the cupboard, he was right there to investigate. And he stayed with me THE WHOLE TIME. That says something about this pie, because usually Oliver can be found doing this:
Ahh. Boy loves his window.
Anywho, I strongly suggest you put on your Laura Ingalls Wilder dress, tumble down a hill near Walnut Grove (I live in Minnesota, so let me just say everything around there is pretty flat), and roll into a kitchen to make this pie. It’ll leave you feeling nostalgic…and wanting a second slice.
References to Doctor Who and Little House on the Prairie in the same post. Hooray for random!
- 1 cooked pie crust (I have a good one under the 'Pie' section)
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp. cornstarch
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- 3 cups whole milk
- 3 egg yolks, beaten.
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- For Meringue:
- 3 egg whites
- ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
- ¼ cup sugar
- Fully bake your pie shell, then set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the powdered sugar and peanut butter until fluffy. Set aside.
- For the filling: In a large saucepan, mix sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt. Stir in the milk and whisk until smooth.
- Cook on medium high heat until thick, then reduce the heat and continue to cook for 2 more minutes, stirring often.
- Remove from heat.
- Pour a small amount of the custard into the three beaten egg yolks, whisking constantly, to bring up their temperature. Then pour the egg mixture into the custard.
- Return to the heat and cook for two more minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.
- Place ⅔ of the peanut butter mixture in the pie shell and either leave it in lumps, or smooth it across the pie surface with a spoon, whichever you prefer.
- Pour the hot custard over the peanut butter. Cover with plastic wrap to keep warm while you make your meringue.
- In an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until you reach soft peaks.
- Gradually add in the sugar and beat until you reach stiff peaks.
- Remove the plastic wrap and dollop the meringue onto the hot custard. (It is important to put meringue onto hot custard. If the custard gets cold, a layer of water might form between it and the meringue.)
- Brown the meringue with a kitchen torch, or place it in the oven at 350 F. for 15 minutes.
- Meringue pies are best eaten within the first day or two.