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Home | Blog | (Free Recipe) Gluten-Free Peanut But . . .

(Free Recipe) Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Pie

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August 12, 2011


Today, for the first time ever, I made a peanut butter pie. What took me so long?

Mike Perillo, husband of blogger Jennifer Perillo, nudged me into the kitchen. I'll have to send a little word of thanks into the universe for Mike to hear. See, Mike died early this week.

On Monday morning, my first day back from vacation, I caught up on my Twitter feed. I saw several tweets mentioning Jennifer. I quickly realized that her husband had passed away. I paused. I shook my head. I re-read. Perhaps I'd misread? I didn't. My heart sank.

Jennifer isn't someone I know personally. But in my on-line circle, she's someone I know. And you know how that feels right? Think about the people you've met on-line. I'm sure there are some “big names,” like blogger Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman. But I bet there are other smaller, but no less important, people too. On Facebook alone I've connected, and re-connected, with lots of folks. These folks are no less “real” to me than the person I chat with at my local grocery store. Community is community. That I know for sure. And in 2011, a part of our community might be “virtual” but it's still community.

When I learned that Jennifer lost her husband suddenly, my heart broke open for her and her family. And I wanted to do something. But, for the moment, there wasn't anything practical I could do. Then Jennifer posted a simple request: make a peanut butter pie to remember Mike. Jennifer shared that this was his favorite pie and she kept meaning to make it “tomorrow” for him.
Ah, “tomorrow”. It gets us doesn't it?

When Jennifer posted her request for peanut butter pie, it surprised me. Just last week, I walked through Stonewall Kitchen's flagship store in York, Maine with my husband. He pointed to one of their recipe cards: Peanut Butter Pie.


A few years ago, Greg picked up a worn copy of a church cookbook for me. I love any cookbook and community cookbooks are one of my favorites. In the book was a recipe for, you guessed it, peanut butter pie. He mentioned that it looked good, even though it contained Cool Whip, an ingredient we never use. My reaction? “I'll have to make it soon!” That was years ago. I never got around to making the pie. It was on my “tomorrow” list.

But tomorrow was, as it always is, tomorrow. So when we walked around Stonewall Kitchen and Greg saw the recipe, he picked it up. He noticed that the Stonewall Kitchen recipe contained mascarpone, not Cool Whip. “I still want the Cool Whip Pie. It's retro, dude.” I threw the recipe card in my purse as a reminder to make him the pie “tomorrow.” It sat there until Jennifer posted about peanut butter pie.

How many things do you want to do “tomorrow”? How many things do you want to when you lose 20 pounds? Or when you “have the time”? Or when your parent/spouse/friends approve? Or when you have the right clothes? Or just the nerve? How many? I have my list. And I bet you have yours.

Here's the thing: we might not get that tomorrow. You know this. We all do. It's a fact about living that we try to forget-- some of us more successfully than others.

But that fact? It's immutable. I learned this at fifteen when my dad died. I saw that our supply of “tomorrows” isn't endless. And I've learned it again and again. But, still, I put things on my “tomorrow” list. The peanut butter pie was on it. Silly, right? It's just a pie. But it isn't just a pie. I represents something I want to do. A little something that would make me happy.

Those little somethings? They're essential to our happiness and, sadly, often they're the things that get put on our “tomorrow list.” Sure trips to Paris and new cars are great but those things only happen once in awhile; if at all. Little things? Like making a pie for someone you love, can make us just as happy and often more happy than the big things. And these little things? We get to create them, thereby creating our own happiness! How great is that? And why do we put it off?  

I believe that if there's something you really want to do, whether for yourself or for someone you love, it's worth it. If it brings you joy, it's worth it. If it makes you smile, it's worth it. Don't minimize it. And don't wait until tomorrow to do it.

I was honored to make a pie for Mike.  But more than just being delicious-- and the pie is delicious--it nudged me to take a look at my “tomorrow” list.  I already crossed one item off: peanut butter pie. What will you cross off?
If you want to make a peanut butter pie, here's how to do it. The recipe I used was the one Greg wanted to try for years. If you'd like to try Jennifer's recipe, which does not use Cool Whip, it's here.

For the crust, use gluten-free sandwich cookies. I really like the ones by Glutino.

Grind until the cookies are fine and start to hold together.

Thanks to the creme filling, you don't need to add butter to the cookie crust. (Which is something you often need to do with cookie crusts.) Give the crumbs a squeeze. They should hold together.

Press the crumbs into a nine-inch pie pan. My pan is really deep; so the crumbs didn't go all the way up the sides.

Bake the crust and allow it to cool. Once it's cool. Prepare the filling.

Mix together peanut butter and cream cheese. (I used neufchatel cheese, which is like cream cheese but with less fat.)

Add powdered sugar and mix.

Add one container of Cool Whip. (I used reduced fat Cool Whip.)

Whip until smooth.

Pour into the prepared crust.

Smooth and chill for two hours. Serve to someone you love.


Click here or above image for recipe.

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