When I made peanut butter pie for the first time, it was far from healthy and far from vegan. My mother found the recipe in The Pottsville Republican, our local newspaper. I knew I had to learn how to cook someday if not only so I wouldn’t be surviving on takeout alone but for my future husband. I wanted to get married.
It contained a cream cheese filling, powdered sugar, whipped cream and of course peanut butter. I used the best ingredients I could buy. For such a simple recipe, I could afford not to. It was a hit among my family, neighbors, at coffee hour and gatherings. It was so easy to make and foolproof that I missed having that as my backup when I went vegan.
I never expected I’d go vegan. I never expected I could develop a brilliant vegan version of this recipe that was actually and partially based off of the name of this blog, Honey & Allspice. Who could expect a vegan version of pie that only contained honey for sweetener and allspice for flavor could too both appease vegans to nonvegans like my husband who requested it for both his birthday and his namesday* during our first year of marriage.
I just never expected….
Within the first year of marriage, I just never expected love to be learning how to pray for your husband so you can sleep soundly at night on the evenings he’ll be home late.
I never expected to learn how to pray allover again.
I never expected how many suppers I’ve prepared from scratch with a book or the newspaper as my silent companion while I learned to pray over the meals I’ve learned to prepare for myself and for us, his dish and goblet set across from mine waiting for him when he would arrive home.
I never expected that I would sometimes have to run out in the middle of night to get my spouse medicine even if he never asked me. But I just knew it was the right thing to do without a complaint.
I never expected that I would continue to fall deeper in love with my husband after the wedding. It’s like after every little disagreement, every feud, and every trip down memory lane, our love grows.
I never expected that revisiting the same places over again together could be transformative instead of boring and dull.
I never expected we would have to both endure dark spots, demons or temptation. But this is not paradise. We are walking this earth together, as co-workers in Christ.
I never expected to ask for sex or receive it on certain Hallmark holidays or special occasions for it is a tender moment of intimacy. Period.
I never expected to not deny my husband a kiss or a hug even on days or during moments I had higher expectations for I can never be certain when will be the LAST time.
I never expected to begin seriously contemplating our Lasts during our big year of Firsts.
For all of these moments, there’s a satisfaction and a comfort in a thoughtful meal prepared from scratch. This peanut butter cup pie. It’s the birthday dessert you can come home to the restaurant especially if your birthday falls on a fast day, the dreaded qualm that most Orthodox endure at least once in their lives. It’s the cholesterol-free namesday dessert that won’t raise your blood sugar. And a little slice will always be there when you’re alone and just want to cuddle up on the couch. Just because..with little guilt. You never quite expected that, right?
Peanut Butter Cup Pie
1 package of firm tofu, drained
1/2 cup of Earth Balance creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup of honey or agave
2 tbsp of allspice
2 tbsp of cardamom
2 tbsp of cinnamon
1/4 cup of cashew milk (for a smoother consistency and taste)
1/2 can of chilled coconut cream, chilled overnight
For the crust…
1 sleeve of Graham crackers (I like Smoreable brand gluten free Graham crackers but you will need the entire container)
1/2 cup of melted Earth Balance buttery spread
For the chocolate ganache…
1 package of non dairy chocolate chips
Let’s start with the crust. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crush up your graham crackers in a blender or food processor until ground. Melt your butter and combine pressing into a greased pie plate. Bake for 10 minutes. Carefully remove and cool.
Okay, time for some blender action. Take your tofu, peanut butter, honey, spices and cashew milk and add them to the blender. Blend on medium for a couple of minutes.
Y’all should make sure you scrape down the sides of your blender real good, you hear? You should reach this kind of consistency.
But if your consistency looks just like this, keep moving forward courageous baker. It really does look like the makings of peanut butter pie!
Open up your chilled coconut cream and add in a 1/2 can to the peanut butter mixture. Coconut cream is more ideal for baking. Now, just pour the batter into the crust and spread evenly like this.
Pop it in the freezer for an hour. After an hour, it’s time to make the chocolate ganache for topping. Try not to make this in advance or let it sit because the melted chocolate will become clumpy very fast. You don’t want clumpy for this recipe. And melted chocolate doesn’t take long at all. You need to stay with it.
Hear that, STAAAAAY WITH ME. Oh sorry, that song is probably stuck in your head too. If you’re like me, random song lyrics can enter your head at various parts of your day. IT’S JUST THE SOUNDTRACK OF LIFE, THAT’S ALL FOLKS!
You could melt chocolate chips three ways: in a microwaveable safe bowl in 12 minute increments, over a double boiler or my way: just a skillet. JUST a skillet without ANYTHING in it. Take a walk on the wild side and imagine the possibilities….or anywho…just heat the chips on medium and stay with it stirring with a spatula.
STAAAY WITH IT… and you’ll get chocolate factory vibes without the admission ticket.
Once the chips are all melted, remove from heat and apply the melted chocolate evenly as possible over the pie.
Pop it back in the freezer for an hour before covering with plastic wrap and moving to the refrigerator.
This pie can last a good week in the fridge and longer if you freeze it for a later occasion. Don’t be surprised to hear requests for seconds or thirds for you can easily double or triple this recipe, if necessary. It’s great served with coffee or tea. If you have a wine recommendation, pop it in the comments below.
They’ll love it.
It even appeased my dad whom was very dubious of vegan cuisine. “This is perhaps the best vegan food I ever had,” he said.
It’s worth a try, right?
* namesday. All Orthodox Christians have a saint ascribed to them by either on the days they were born on or their baptismal names. This is otherwise known as their namesday.