Saturday, August 13, 2011


"This shit is da bomb."

Very 1997 of my husband to say. But it was still music to my ears. 

You see, I wanted him to love what he was eating. I had made it to honor Jennie Perillo. Jennie is a food blogger whose husband Mikey died of a heart attack last Sunday night. 

"I'm waiting to wake up and learn to live a new kind of normal. For those asking what they can do to help my healing process, make a peanut butter pie this Friday and share it with someone you love."

My husband was tasting my Crunchy Peanut Butter Ice cream with Brown Butter Graham Crackers Crumbs. I know. It's not a pie. But this summer, I've been expressing my love with ice cream.
This beautiful storm of food blogger love just might blow your mind.

An explosion on twitter.

Hundreds of photos have poured in.

To Tastespotting.


Food Network.


And Facebook.

You are so psyched if you love Peanut Butter Pie like Mikey did. I'm not sure there have ever been this many variations of one recipe in the history of food blogging. Or maybe in the history of time (except for Caesar salad and chocolate chip cookies).

I kept it together until I started combining the eggs and sugar. Something about the repetitive circular motion of whisking sent me straight into tears. I understood what I still had. And I felt what Jennie had lost.

So here's to Jennie, Mikey, and their two girls for inspiring such a tremendous gathering. There are no words for Jennie's loss. But there is a strength to social media that is beyond our wildest dreams. Let this inspire us to do even more.

printable recipe
Inspired by Jennie Perillo's Creamy Peanut Butter Pie.
You can dip the top of the cone in melted dark chocolate for some extra excitement.

1/2 stick salted butter
6 graham crackers
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups half and half
6 egg yolks
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Melt butter. Once it has melted, continuing cooking it until it smells nutty and the milk solids have turned light brown. Take off the heat and cool.

Bash graham crackers in a zip loc bag until they're almost a fine powder (a few bigger chunks are ok). In an ovenproof dish, mix together brown butter and pulverized graham crackers. Spread out in a thin layer and toast for about 10 minutes until it's one shade darker. Keep an eye on it the whole time. Cool.

Whip in a standing mixer (or by hand) the peanut butter and vanilla until softened. Set aside.

Whisk together half and half, yolks, sugars, and salt. Set aside.

Prepare an ice water bath. Place a fine strainer over a medium-sized bowl. Immerse bottom of bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice and water. Set aside.

Heat heavy cream in a medium-sized saucepan. Turn off heat as it starts to boil. Take off heat and slowly whisk into half and half/egg mixture. 

Pour back into the pot and cook on low heat. Stir with a wooden spoon until it thickens slightly. It's done when you drag your finger across the back of the wooden spoon and it leaves a trail.

Pour mixture through the strainer into the bowl that's over the ice bath. Whisk in softened peanut butter/vanilla mixture. Leave bowl in the ice bath until the custard is cool. Stir every 10 minutes or so. Place saran wrap on top surface of custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate custard for several hours. Churn in ice cream machine according to manufacturer's directions. Freeze for a few hours before serving. Top with brown butter graham cracker crumbs.


  1. Read the Peanut Butter Pie post last week and was overcome by emotion and compelled to share the post with friends and followers. Printed the recipe with a promise to make it soon for my chocolate and peanut butter loving husband. Amazing and powerful connections between food and family. I wasn't aware of the outpouring of emotion that Jennie's post drew... But I am not surprised. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your version of the recipe. Wouldn't all the expressions of consolation and recipes make a lovely compilation and commemoration for Jennie?

  2. Thats heartbreaking. I think making peanut butter pies and thinking about Jennie (and Mikey) while you do it is an amazing tribute.

    I didnt know about this, or them before your post but coincidentally blogged a peanut butter toblerone cheesecake on Friday... so I'll be thinking about them now, and when I make it again in future.

  3. There are no words for Jennie's loss. But there is a strength to social media that is beyond our wildest dreams. Let this inspire us to do even more.

    So true.

  4. Hi, Phyllis. I was doing research for a client over the weekend when I stumbled across your post. I write about small business rather than food, so this was the first time I'd heard about Jennifer Perillo and her loss -- but 3 days later I can't stop thinking about it. I still can't get over the way your foodie "tribe" has responded with an outpouring of love and support. Thank you for your beautiful post that drew me into a tragic -- yet beautiful -- story.

  5. erika, intermittent blogger, dig this chick, and robert jones:

    thank you for your comments. quite amazing, this community outpouring. thank you for being a part of it.

  6. I love the amazing outpouring of support that's been generating on the internet in response to such a heartbreaking story.

    I'd love to make this ice cream - does the recipe work with an ice cream maker? (Sorry, I'm not terribly handy in the kitchen and can use all the help gadget-wise that I can get!)

  7. britrish: yes. it works great in an ice cream machine. or, you can do a no-machine technique. here's a link:

    let me know if you have any questions.

  8. Thank you, Phyllis! I will give it a try with the machine. The idea of making custard always scares me a little, but it's never as difficult as it sounds... plus the end results are so worth it!

  9. غرفة النوم هي الحضن الدافئ الذي نلجأ إليه بعد عناء يوم طويل وهي المكان المخصص للراحة والتي ينتهي اليوم التي يحتاج المرء فيه إلى الطاقة الإيجابية