Friday, October 21, 2011

Peanut Butter Pie

This is a very unusual recipe that I got from my mother-in-law.  She always made it for my husband's birthday because he loves it so much.  This is not a pie for everyone.  As I said, it is a little odd and very, very sweet.


I of course started with my own pie dough.  I had a few extra portions of pie dough sitting around in my refrigerator from an order earlier in the week.  I thought I would surprise my husband with this pie when he came home from work.  I had not made one in years.  It is a super simple pie to make.  The base of the pie is simply water, baking soda, corn syrup, and molasses.  Then, you mix up peanut butter, brown sugar, and flour and drop chunks of it into the molasses mixture.  During the baking process, the bottom crust pretty much just dissolves into the pie, so structural integrity can be a bit of an issue for this pie.  Also, it leaks over the sides of the crust horribly, so if you don't have a pan under the pie dish, you will be doing some serious scrubbing in your oven.  This pie is just fabulous with a strong cup of coffee to help cut the sweetness, but I just love the sweet and somewhat salty gooeyness of it.

Molasses is the by-product of making sugar from sugar cane or beets.  The word molasses comes from the Portuguese word melaҫo, which comes from mel, which is Latin for honey.  Up until the 1880s, molasses was the sweetener of choice in the United States because it was much cheaper than refined sugar.  After World War I ended, the price of refined sugar dropped drastically which resulted in a drop in molasses sales.  In 1919, the U.S. per capita consumption of refined sugar nearly doubled that what it was in 1880.  In 1919, a huge vat of molasses at a distilling company in Boston exploded.  It became known as the "Great Molasses Flood" and resulted in 21 deaths and 2 million gallons of molasses in the streets.

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