Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Peanut butter pie recipe



I have a new favorite pie that I will be sharing with my family at Thanksgiving—it’s peanut butter pie. But before I tell you how to make it, first a little background.

Two years ago, I received a cookbook in the mail. It was spiral-bound with a lavender cover that had a black and white photo of a woman pulling a tray of rolls from an oven. The title of the book was “Gennie’s Bishop Grill. The Best Buns in Town!!!”

Inside the front flap was an inscription: “Lisa, We hope you enjoy a little bit of Texas home cooking! Thanks, Rosemarie.” I scratched my head. I had not ordered this cookbook, nor was I familiar with either Rosemarie or Gennie’s Bishop Grill. It was strange.

A couple of days later, my dad called. “Lisa, did you send me a cookbook from Gennie’s Bishop Grill?” I told him I had not. Now I was really confused! Who was Rosemarie and why was she sending my dad and me cookbooks?




But before I had a chance to say this, my dad continued. “I love Gennie’s Bishop Grill! I used to eat there all the time!” He went on to tell me that Gennie’s Bishop Grill was a restaurant in the Bishop’s Art District that served up excellent home cooking. It was known for its chicken-fried steak, yeast rolls and its pies—namely its peanut butter pie.

The owners of the restaurant, Rosemarie (daughter of Gennie) and her husband Gus, retired in 2005 and closed the restaurant. But they had a bunch of cookbooks and the Dallas Morning News had written an article about the restaurant, with an address to place orders for this trove of Texan home cooking.

I had wanted to make a custard-based peanut butter pie for quite a while, but most of the recipes I saw were the kind where you mix the peanut butter with cream cheese and whipped cream and spoon this into a chocolate-cookie crust. Not a bad dessert, but not quite what I was looking for.



I asked my grandma if she had one, and she recommended taking her chocolate pie recipe and substituting peanut butter for the chocolate. I followed her advice and fell in love. This was the peanut butter pie I had been seeking!

A few days later when I was talking to my grandma, she said, “Are you still looking for peanut butter pie recipes? I bet there’s a good one in that cookbook I sent you.”

Now, my grandma often sends me recipes clipped from the newspaper or photocopied from an old family recipe cards, but I didn’t recall her ever sending me an actual cookbook.

“What cookbook?” I asked.

“Oh, you know—the one from that Oak Cliff cafe that closed. I read about it in the paper and bought one for you and one for your dad.”



But of course! The mystery was solved. And yes, Grandma was correct—there was indeed a recipe for peanut butter pie in the cookbook. And while it was a little bit different from the one I had already made, I could tell by reading it that the food at Gennie’s Bishop Grill was pretty spectacular and I’m sorry I was never able to eat at their restaurant. But thankfully, their good food lives on in their cookbook, which I’m very happy to own.

Peanut Butter Pie

Filling ingredients:
2 egg yolks, beaten slightly
1 1/2 cups of milk
3/4 cups of sugar
5 tablespoons of flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
¾ cup of peanut butter
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Meringue ingredients:
2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon of salt
4 tablespoons of sugar

Your favorite pie crust. (I use my grandma's pie crust.)

Method:
In a pot, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, flour and salt. While stirring, cook on medium heat until it bubbles and thickens, about five to 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, cayenne and peanut butter.

Meanwhile, poke holes in your pie crust with a fork and bake it at 350 until it’s brown, about 20 minutes.

Beat your egg whites with salt and when they start to get fluffy add the sugar.

Pour the peanut butter custard into the baked pie shell and top with the beaten egg whites.

Bake pie until peaks on the meringue are lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Notes: I used smooth, unsweetened peanut butter; feel free to use chunky. If you use sweetened peanut butter, however, you may want to cut down on the sugar. And I like to top my meringue with roasted peanuts. A sprinkle of cocoa powder is also delicious. And I understand some of you don't even like meringue! The Bishop Grill recipe is topped with whipped cream, which I bet is also pretty darn good.

And I heard from Rosemarie and she still has copies of the cookbook! If you'd like to order one here's the information: Write to Rosemarie Hudson 202 N Avenue D, Clifton, TX 76634. The cost is $18.00. Checks or money orders are fine.

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60 comments:

Ian said...

I am so, so sad that Gennie's is gone. An Oak Cliff icon, and one of the best chicken fried steaks in town. Thanks for sharing the pie recipe!

Celeste said...

Lisa, what a cool story! That cookbook is even more special because of it.

I googled and found the newspaper article on it from January 2009; at the bottom it said this:

"Ms. Hudson still has a few copies of the self-published, spiral-bound Gennie's Bishop Grill Cookbook. Send a check or money order for $18 (which includes shipping and handling) to: Rosemarie Hudson, 202 N. Avenue D, Clifton, TX 76634.

Include your name, mailing address and phone number. "

I have no idea how many copies has left, but maybe enough for the people who read this article. Here's hoping, because it sounds really great!

AT said...

Oh my, I want to eat this. Well, I'll make it, then I'll eat it. Soon I hope.

And I'm so sad that this restaurant is no longer! I would have been over there in a heartbeat. The Cliff is only about 15 minutes away. Sigh.

texannewyorker said...

I love peanut butter pie but I detest meringue. If I left off the meringue would I need to adjust the cooking time?

Aaron said...

I'm sorry you never got to eat there, too. It was every bit as wonderful as it was reported to be. One of the best chicken fried steaks ever.

Lauren McK said...

Do you think you could use natural peanut butter? I'd love to make this, and don't buy the processed stuff. I'm wondering if it might need all that oil to mix better. Any idea?

lisa said...

This pie sounds incredible! Love the pinch of cayenne in it and the meringue on top.

Melanie said...

I'll be introducing Thanksgiving to my new friends in Germany in a few weeks. This pie will definitely be gracing our table!

Tommy said...

This is the second year that you've aced the pie post. Last year, it was Austin's Sweet Potato Pie, now this little gem.
Call me sheltered, but I've never heard of a peanut butter pie before. Never. But it sounds delicious. And easy to make. Peanut butter custard.Genius.

Quick question. Are these heaping tablespoons of flour ?

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Ian--Sounds like it was wonderful--I'm bummed I never ate there.

Celeste--Very helpful! Thanks!

AT--Ha! The Cliff--is that what's it's called these days?

TexanNewYorker--I would maybe cook it for less time.

Aaron--That's what my dad said!

Lauren McK--I used natural peanut butter and it turned out just fine!

Lisa--I'm a big fan of cayenne and peanut butter.

Melanie--It's perfect for Thanksgiving!

Whitney said...

This sounds so delicious. Thanks for sharing!

Rebecca said...

This is going on my list of pies for Christmas. Thanks!!!!!

StuffCooksWant said...

Cayenne and peanut butter... what an interesting combo. I've gotta try this! Thanks for sharing.

Ninette said...

Neat! I've never heard of peanut butter pie before.

Andrea said...

Is there anything better than a peanut butter desert? Looks like a seriously yummy recipe.

Puppydogs said...

So, do you know how I can order a copy of this book?

Farmer Jen said...

Sounds delicious. Thanks for the great story and the recipe. I will try it soon. Sounds like a great cookbook too.

Jo said...

http://www.dallasnews.com/video/index.html?nvid=208382

here's a link to watch Rosemarie making Chicken fried Steak and gravy for those that want it

below is the news article and the written recipe for the video:
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/fea/taste/stories/DN-nf_cfs_0220liv.ART.State.Edition1.1de1a6e.html

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Whitney--You're very welcome.

StuffCooksWant--It's terrific, I love the two together!

Ninette--It's not very common.

Andrea--I'm a big fan of anything peanut butter!

Puppydogs--A woman left an address in a comment above.

Farmer Jen--It's a treasure!

Jo--Excellent! Many thanks!

Regina said...

I don't really like meringue on pies, but what about chocolate meringue on a peanut butter pie. I think it would be a delicious combination.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Regina--That sounds like it would be divine!

Jen and Ed said...

So now we need the buns recipe! I want to have the best buns in my town!

And I'm not a fan of meringue either... Can you really make a chocolate meringue???? I LOVE that idea.

Melissa said...

My husband would love this. I had read on Gourmet's message board a month or so ago comments regarding PB pie with candied bacon!!! Those who made it loved it! Maybe for those who have an aversion to meringue could try this!

Jessica J. said...

Oh my goodnessss this looks amazing! Peanut butter is my favorite thing in the world, but I'm not a huge fan of normal pie crust. I think I'll try this with a graham cracker crust!

Gorgeous pics too! :D

kate said...

what a cool story. and beautiful pie. maybe i have time tonight...

ARLENE said...

Wish I were having Thanksgiving dessert at your house. This looks amazing.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

I am going to have to give this peanut butter pie a try! ~just happen to have a stockpile of peanut butter

Anonymous said...

well, I finally have to jump in and comment. I used to work at a frame shop up the street from Bishop Grill. I remember grabbing a piece of matboard and scribbling the recipe to this pie that was posted on their wall from a newspaper article. I still have it.

Before I moved from Dallas I placed a little photo of myself on the celebrity wall of photos that my friends periodically updated me on.

I remember everyday they would go down to the farmer's market to get their vegetable sides to the venerable chicken fried steak. I still remember the line atthe original Gennies stretching out to the street holding open the screen door.

I briefly wrote for a show on a unnamed food channel show and they asked me if chicken fried steak is big in Texas. I just had to shake my head, thinkin if you have to ask...

signed,
Marlis
homesick texan, too

Anonymous said...

I've got that cookbook, too!!

Schteveo said...

If the cook book is THAT good, maybe you could get the thing re-printed?

TinaFromTexas said...

I love that this recipe uses two egg yolks in the filling and the remaining egg whites in the meringue. I don't know if that's on purpose, but I like to think that we Texans are thrifty when it comes to ingredients. We would never come up with left over egg yolks or whites in a recipe we make, even if we could afford to do so. I see recipes everywhere that produce a lot of waste and it's sad to me. I can't wait to try this pie!

Lele said...

Mmm that sounds so rich and lovely. And I love the touch of cayenne!

folloder said...

As with most things "variated" by HT, it's not a matter of if, but *when* I'll make the dish. It's rarely more than a week and this one was about a day and a half. I made the pie and let it "set" for dinner, which was on the light side. Served up the pie and let's just say that two adults and two teenagers ate it. All. In one sitting. I'm pretty sure that we all snored while smiling!

Mel J said...

My Auntie Barb made her Peanut Butter Pie by layering a crumbly mixture of powdered sugar and peanut butter under and over vanilla custard, reserving a bit of it to sprinkle over the meringue with some chopped salted peanuts before baking. The separation of the custard and the peanut butter flavors inspired my little sister to name it "Abba Zaba Pie" after her kid-favorite candy bar. One year long ago at my oldest son's birthday pie request, I substituted chocolate instead of vanilla custard and added a new family favorite to add to a long list of home-made pies.

I enjoy your memories of family and Texas as much as your recipes. My family has roots and much-loved recipes from there going back six generations.

tasteofbeirut said...

The pie sounds awesome! Too bad I have never experienced that restaurant even though I have gone to Oak Cliff a bunch of times and love the area!
Thanks for the recipe. My kids will love it!

Kelsey B. said...

This sounds seriously amazing. I am printing the recipe out and making it asap!

Lizzy said...

Yum!!!! I've been a fan of your chocolate pie for a long time, so I knew this was going to be good. Actually, it's amazing and I love your pie crust recipe. So simple and delicious!

Jerilyn said...

Oh no. Bishop Grill is closed? I am so sad to know that. Great lunch memories. Thanks for the recipe, and the comment on how to order my own cookbook. YUMM!

Devon said...

Food is such a nice way to families to stay connected. Nice story

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Tommy--Just regular tablespoons. And my grandma wanted to tell you that it's Uncle Richard's sweet potato pie, not Austin's!

Jen and Ed--I don't if you can make a chocolate meringue, but I'm certainly going to try!

Melissa--Good lord, that sounds incredible! I love peanut butter and bacon.

Jessica J.--It would be great with a graham cracker crust, I bet.

Kate--There's always time for pie!

Arlene--Thankyou!

Sandi--It's a great way to use up excess peanut butter!

Marlis--If you have to ask indeed! Reminds me of a woman who asked me what Mexican food had to with Texas.

Anon--It's wonderful, isn't it?

Schteveo--Actually, she still has copies. The contact information is above.

Tina--Yep, I like to use everything!

Lele--It's gives it a nice little bite.

Folloder--Thanks, Jeff. Glad y'all enjoyed it!

Mel J--Oh, that sounds delicious. I'll have to try that!

TasteofBeirut--I know! I'm so bummed I never went there either!

Kelsey--Enjoy!

Lizzy--That pie crust recipe is a family favorite. Everyone's always shocked at how simple and delicious it is. And I'm so glad you liked the pie!

Jerilyn--Yes, I think it closed a couple of years ago.

Devon--I agree--food is a wonderful connector.

Suzi said...

My friend sent me the link to youf blog last week and I tried your peanut butter pie recipe this weekend. So easy and so yum! Thanks for the awesome post

Beth said...

lately, i've replaced peanut butter in dessert recipes with a dark chocolate peanut butter that a friend brought me from nyc. it's over-the-top good. this might be a great way to use the last of the jar!

Kelly Fisher said...

Did not know if you were still looking for some great places to eat in Bay City, TX....but, here are a few of our favorites.

River Bend Restaurant & Tavern is located on the "River Road", highway FM 2031, one mile south of the Intracoastal Canal.

Waterfront Restaurant has incredible shrimp po-boys! Amazing! Conveniently located as you enter Matagorda Harbor, just a short drive from Bay City, Texas on Hwy. 60 South.

Spoonbills Restaurant from Bay City, go south on Hwy 60. Turn left on Cypress Street (one street before the turn for the new bridge). The restaurant is on the left.

BTW, what kind of research are you doing in Bay City? LOL

Tommy said...

I made this pie over the weekend.

Not being an adept baker, I used slightly heaped tablespoons of flour which lead to a slightly gummy custard. I knew almost immediately, but the taste was sensational. I'll give it a go again using level tablespoons to lighten up the custard.

Somehow the meringue just screams out to be drizzled with chocolate, so maybe that could be my little spin on top.
Noted, Uncle Richard is the Sweet potatoe pie expert.

Alanna said...

Love the tiny smidge of cayenne in your pie! My peanut butter pie recipe has Texas connections, my mom invented it while visiting my sister in Houston and one of the grandkids said, Nana, do you know how to make pie? It's what she could come up without going to the store!

Barefoot Belle said...

Wow, this looks amazing! I can't wait to try it.

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Oh wow - so sad I never ate there! This pie sounds heavenly.

Anonymous said...

This recipe was delicious! And I had ordered that book and just got it today. I'm ready to do some mad cooking...

Amanda said...

Hi!
There is a wonderful peanut butter pie at the Coffee Cup Cafe in Hico, TX. We drive through there on our way from Fort Worth down to the Hill Country. My fiance loved it so much, we made peanut butter pie our groom's "cake" at our wedding! The wedding was closer to Austin, so we had Sansalone's bakery make up one for us. They did a great job, but the one at the Coffee Cup is unbeatable!
Thanks for posting - I can't wait to surprise my husband with it!

Kristin said...

If not using Meringue, is there a need to bake the pie? I'm in the middle of making this and that thought came to my mind. Let me know.

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Kristin--Probably not, since the crust is pre-baked and the custard is already cooked.

VintageMixer said...

We made this and loved it. It will be a Thanksgiving tradition!

DessertForTwo said...

Finally! A peanut butter pie recipe made without Cool Whip! Thanks for sharing! :)

Anonymous said...

This is my first visit to your blog (came via Michael Ruhlman on Twitter who posted your rendering Lard piece) This will be my NYE pie. Last year I made Emeril's from his 1st cookbook with a peanut butter cookie pie crust so this will be our 2nd year together and you have just sealed a new tradition. Cheers!

Mommy, M.D. said...

I've been looking for a custard based caramel pie, maybe similar to this. Have you ever seen anything like that?

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Mommy, M.D.--I haven't seen that, but it sounds wonderful. I'll start looking!

Mommy, M.D. said...

Lisa,
I tried one in the pastry queen's christmas book and the custard didn't set up. i think i didn't cook it long enough; her directions were a little vague. i'm thinking of trying the filling from
this one, although i do think i want a pastry crust, and either no topping or maybe meringue.

i tried swirling some cajeta into buttermilk pie but it just disappeared and changed the texture in a weird way. bummer. it seemed like such a good idea.

Elsie K said...

This recipe looks really terrific. I'm not sure about the type of peanut butter to use, and if I use a sweetened type, how much to cut the sugar back. Any suggestions? Thanks. Elsie Kappler

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Elsie--If you use sweetened peanut butter, I'd start with half a cup and then add more to taste.

Laura in Montreal said...

Oh my goodness, it is not easy to find a peanut butter pie recipe that does not have Cool Whip in it! Thank goodness I found your recipe. Thank you, Homesick Texan, I am making this TONIGHT!!!!

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