There are no words. It's a phrase I've seen or uttered far too often as of late. First, in my close circle of friends when it came to a tragic accident that took the life of the toddler of one of my dearest friends. I walked around in a fog for weeks with a loss I can't understand. Now, again, in the past week, I've seen it spread throughout the food blogging community. We were talking of indescribable loss. The sudden loss of the husband of fellow blogger, Jennifer Perillo.
Her husband, Mikey, passing away last weekend of a sudden heart attack while out bike riding with one of their two daughters. I don't know how she did, but she put together word after beautifully written word, about her dear husband in a post named, "For Mikey". She also made his favorite pie, Creamy Peanut Butter. Food is love, and in this case, it connects time and space, for the love of one dearest husband loss.
The food blogging community, as always, came together. Today, bloggers across the world making this pie, some variation, or their own #apieformikey . It's our way of supporting a friend, that some of us know so well, some have never met.
I was lucky enough to spend a little bit of time with Jennie at Eat, Write, Retreat. I got to share a quick breakfast with her and my dear friend Ethan Adeland (who by the way, gave his pie to a woman's shelter, and wrote a wonderful post for his friend). She spoke of her husband, her girls, her love for sharing local and from-scratch food. It's a passion we share. Just days ago, we tweeted back and forth about a cherry-infused grappa, and our love for the spirit. I'm not going to pretend to know Jennie like so many of you do. I know her enough to know she's a kindred spirit, full of love and light.
When devastating loss comes to pass, we often share in gifts of food, because it's one way of trying to fill the massive void a loved one leaves behind. Today, I share my version of Jennie's pie for Mikey with you. I share because I think she's a beautiful person, I think her daughters are amazing, I share because I can't imagine the loss she's feeling. I share because my husband loves this pie as much as Mikey did (and I'm sure still does), and I can't imagine losing him, his smile, his love for life.
Oreo Peanut Butter Pie
A recipe (with a couple of changes) from the lovely Jennifer Perillo
- 8 ounces Oreo Cookies
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 4 ounces finely chopped chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup chopped peanuts (I omitted)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup creamy-style peanut butter
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- 1 -14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- more crumbled oreos for garnishing
- Pulverize the Oreos in a food processor until they're fine crumbs.
- Combine melted butter and cookie crumbs in a small bowl. Stir with a fork to mix well.
- Press mixture into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of a buttered springform pan.
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or the microwave. Pour over the bottom of cookie crust. Sprinkle the peanuts over the top, if you're using it. Put the pan in the fridge while you make the filling.
- In the bowl of standing mixer (or a regular bowl if using a hand mixer), pour in the heavy cream and beat until stiff peaks form. Transfer to a small bowl and put in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the filling.
- Rinse out your standing mixer bowl (or take out another) and place your cream cheese and peanut butter in it, and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Reduce mixer speed to low, and gradually beat in confectioner's sugar.
- Add the sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Increase the speed to medium and beat all the ingredients are combined and the filing is smooth.
- Finally, take your whipped cream, and fold in 1/3 of the whipped cream into the filling mixture (it will lighten the mixture, making it easier to fold the rest of the whipped cream in).
- Fold in the remaining whipped cream.
- Pour the mixture into your springform pan.
- Sprinkled the crushed Oreos for garnish on top.
- Refrigerate for three hours or overnight before serving.