Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mary Elizabeth's Peanut Butter Pie

Grandma- Mary Elizabeth, Grandaddy- Tommie Lee, me, my brother- Josh, my mom
When people talk about their grandmothers, they often talk about their cooking.  Grandmothers usually have a signature item, especially here in the South.  It may be something fried, canned, or baked.  When I think of my grandmother, Mary Elizabeth, I always think of Jello.  I know that sounds really weird, but it's the first thing that comes to mind when I think of something that she always made.  She knew I loved Jello, and she always had a bowl of it made when I came to visit.  One of the first things she'd say when I arrived was, "Marlar, I made you some Jello."  She usually added an 'r' to the end of my name.  She didn't make the Jello for herself or for my grandfather.  It was for me.

When I try to think of other things that she made, I really can't single out one dish.  That just wasn't the memory I had of her.  I remember her sitting on the bed with me, reading to me, telling me stories of her childhood.  She was born in 1911, so her stories were beyond anything I could ever imagine.  My other memories of my grandmother were her walking around the house praying out loud.  She talked to God all day, no matter who was around.  She truly prayed without ceasing.  I don't think she prayed out loud necessarily for anyone else to hear.  I think she just wanted to be so close to God that she had to vocalize it.

My grandmother passed away when I was 11.  My grandfather died 3 weeks to the day later.  It's really tough to lose grandparents when you're that young.  I try to hold on to every single memory I can of them.  Sadly, I only had a few years of memories to make with them.  If I had longer, I might have been able to tell you more about my grandmother's cooking.  After all, that's something that grandmother's share, right?

When I opened Blue Kite this past August, somehow a Facebook conversation was started between me, my mother, and two of my cousins.  The conversation mentioned my grandma's peanut butter pie.  I had never heard of her making this.  I have no memory of ever eating.  Since my grandmother was in her 80's in my childhood, maybe she had stopped making it by the time I would have remembered it.  Finding this recipe and hearing others talk about how delicious this pie was was like finding a new piece of my grandmother.  I was continuing to learn about her even though it had been over 15 years since she was gone.

I think it's amazing how recipes can be tied to memories of loved ones.  This recipe will forever be close to my heart, because it gave me one more memory of Grandma.

Today I share with you my grandma's recipe.  Please cherish it and make it for someone you love.

Mary Elizabeth's Peanut Butter Pie
1 baked pie shell
1 c peanut butter (creamy)
1 c powdered sugar
1/4 c flour
2/3 c sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 c scalded milk
3 eggs
2 T butter
3/4 tsp vanilla

Mix powdered sugar and peanut butter together until it crumbles.  Spread 1/2 of mixture into bottom of baked pie shell. Blend flour, sugar and salt together, add to milk, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat until it thickens.  Add beaten egg yolks gradually, cook a little longer.  Remove from heat, add butter and vanilla.  Cool.  Pour into pie shell.  Make meringue, spread over filling.  Sprinkle rest of peanut butter over meringue.  Bake at 350 for about 30 mins or until meringue browns. 

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