One of my favorite memories as a kid are the holidays where we would visit my aunt and uncle’s home. My aunt is a wonderful cook and each year she would make the most amazing peanut butter meringue pie that I still adore to this day. In fact, it is still one of my all-time favorite pie recipes. It is a little labor intensive though so if you’re looking for an easier pie recipe, my cherry kool aid pie might be a better choice for you. This pie does have a meringue on it so be sure that you pay attention to the meringue recipe as well. It won’t taste the same without the meringue. If you don’t know how to make meringue, don’t worry too much. It isn’t as hard as it might seem.
A lot of people are concerned about using raw eggs in a meringue recipe. If you’re one of them, don’t worry about this one. Your peanut butter pie is baked with the meringue on it so there is no danger from the meringue. This pie recipe is layered with a flaky pie crust, peanut butter layer, homemade vanilla pudding and slightly sweet meringue. Finally, you’ll finish it off with another layer of peanut butter topping and chill.
Peanut Butter Meringue Pie Recipe
Meringue turns out much better when it is made in a metal bowl over a plastic one, so you will need to have a medium metal mixing bowl to make your meringue. When you make this, you’ll want to make sure you chill it for at least 3-4 hours before you serve it. It has to be served cold or it’s just odd tasting. It’s the perfect pie recipe for any holiday meal, summer picnic or even a school bake sale! It is my go to for bake sales and I’ve never had them be on the table longer than five minutes! They sell that quick! Ready to make yours?
You Will Need:
Peanut butter meringue pie filling
- 1 9″ unbaked pie crust
- 1 cup powdered Sugar
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 cups Milk
- 3 large eggs
- 2 T butter or margarine
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
To prepare, preheat your oven to 325° and line a 9″ pie plate with your crust. You can use a homemade pie crust or a frozen pie crust. Neither one will affect the taste. Before you begin, place the metal mixing bowl that you’re going to be making into the freezer. A metal bowl that is very very cold will help your meringue turn out best.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the powdered sugar and peanut butter until it resembles cornmeal. You can use an electric mixer or a pastry cutter. A mixer makes it much easier though.
Once the peanut butter and sugar are mixed, line the pie crust with around 3/4 of the mixture. Make sure that you get up onto the sides of the pie crust as swell as a good coating on the bottom. This layer is where the majority of your peanut butter flavor comes from so it’s quite important.
In a large sauce pan, combine the sugar and cornstarch. Just use a fork to stir them together but make sure that you’ve mixed them well. Add the milk and being to heat it up over medium heat. Make sure that you keep an eye on things. This will scorch very easily so be sure that you stir nearly constantly using a wire whisk.
Separate the 3 eggs into small mixing bowls. Be sure that you don’t get any yolk at all into the egg white. It’s fine to have a bit of white in the yolk but not the other way around. If you do, pick it out. Your meringue will not turn out if there is even the slightest bit of yolk in it. If you can separate it with your hands, that’s fine, but if not or if you’re unsure, you may want to use an egg separator to help you out.
Once the eggs are separated, set the egg whites aside until you’re ready to make the meringue recipe and lightly stir the eggs together to bust the yolks up.
When the mixture is hot, pour a little bit (just a teaspoon or two) into the egg yolks and stir gently. This tempers the eggs making them the same temperature as the mixture so that they won’t scramble on you. Once this is done, pour the eggs into the pot and stir well. Continue stirring until the mixture is hot.
Once the mixture is hot, immediately remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Slowly pour the mixture into your prepared pie crust and set it aside for now.
How to make a meringue
- 3 egg whites
- 1/4 t Cream of Tartar
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
For the purposes of this meringue, we’re going to use the egg whites that we reserved earlier. However, if you’re making a meringue without the pie, simply separate three eggs and use the whites from them. You can reserve the yolks by beating them and freezing them in an ice cube tray for later use in a different recipe.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar then beat on low with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. A meringue soft peak looks like the photo above. If you lift the beaters out of the bowl, it will form a peak but then fall back over. A soft peak will hold its shape a bit but won’t be a firm shape.
Beat the meringue until stiff peaks form. This could take a few minutes so don’t worry too much if it does. You’ll know you have a stiff peak when you can lift your mixer from the meringue and the meringue stays standing instead of falling over forming a “peak” like shown in the above photo. Another great way to test for a stiff peak is to run your finger through the meringue. If you leave a “canal,” behind you, you have a stiff meringue.
Once your meringue is made, spoon it onto the pie using a large serving spoon and spread it to the edges of the pie using a rubber spatula. Make sure that you spread the meringue all of the way to the edge of the crust. This will create a “seal” of sorts and help to keep your meringue from shrinking.
Sprinkle the rest of the peanut butter topping (the 1/4 cup that you reserved earlier) over the top of the pie. Bake at 325° until the meringue is set and lightly browned.
Once you’re done baking, allow the pie to sit for a few minutes then chill for 4-5 hours or until it’s fully cold and the center pudding is set. Serve cold.