Finally spring is starting to take hold. Hopefully it’s doing some serious weightlifting because it needs to be crazy strong to kick winter all the way to the curb and keep it there.
All the springtime signs are like a weight lifted from my shoulders. The birds are singing, the chipmunks have come out of hibernation, the days are so much longer, the snow is almost melted (yeah, some of it’s still hanging on), and I didn’t even have to wear my coat the other day!
If winter comes back again, I swear I’m gonna barricade myself in the house. And maybe have a load of dirt and some flowers delivered to start a garden in the house because you can have anything delivered today. Just ask my BFF, the UPS man.
There may have been some talk on the local news that snow is meteorologically possible until June. But I put my fingers in my ears and chanted “la, la, la” like a five year old, so we’ll pretend like it didn’t happen.
This Fluffernutter Pie definitely happened. And I’m so glad it did. I mean does it get better than a thick graham cracker crust, silky smooth peanut butter pastry cream, and homemade marshmallow fluff? Um . . . no. You’ll be tempted to eat the peanut butter pastry cream straight from the pot with a spoon, but save some for the pie. You’ll thank me later!
2 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups milk or cream, divided (I used almond milk, use what you love)
¼ cup cornstarch
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 whole large eggs
4 large egg yolks
¾ cup creamy peanut butter (I used Skippy Natural, use what you love)
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
½ cup water
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
5 large egg whites
½ plus ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
Make the crust. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Pour into a pie pan and press in firmly with your hands, going all the way up the sides. Using a measuring cup press the bottom in very firmly. Bake for 15-25 minutes until golden brown. Cool completely.
Make the marshmallow fluff. In a small saucepan, combine water, sugar, and corn syrup over medium heat. Stir frequently until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is clear. Once this happens, attach a candy thermometer, raise the heat to medium-high, and stop stirring. Allow the mixture to come to 240 degrees F on the candy thermometer.
In the meantime, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium-high until frothy. Add the cream of tartar. Continue beating on medium-high until the egg whites form stiff peaks.
When the egg whites have formed stiff peaks and the sugar mixture has reached 240, remove the syrup from the heat and turn the mixer to medium-low. Slowly and immediately begin drizzling the syrup into the egg whites, trying not to get it on the sides of the bowl. If the whites are done whipping before the syrup is done, turn them off until the syrup reaches 235, then turn them back on to make sure they are fluffy. If the syrup is done before the whites, turn the heat down or remove it from the heat for a minute or so.
Once the syrup is drizzled into the whites, turn the mixer back up to medium-high and beat for about 7 minutes, until the bottom of the bowl is cool and the marshmallow is thick, glossy, and voluminous. Add the vanilla bean paste and mix about 1 minute more. Marshmallow may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. I recommend doing this as it makes assembling the pie easier.
Make the pastry cream. In a medium bowl, whisk together ½ cup milk and cornstarch. Place the remaining milk and the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the mixture just starts to bubble.
Whisk the eggs and egg yolks into the milk and cornstarch mixture until well combined. Slowly add about 1/3 of the hot milk mixture to the egg mixture while whisking. Then pour the egg mixture into the remaining hot milk in the saucepan and place over medium low heat. It is important to keep the heat low so the mixture does not curdle. Whisk constantly until the mixture starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and whisk in the peanut butter and vanilla bean paste until fully combined.
Assemble the pie. Preheat the broiler. Pour pastry cream immediately into the baked and cooled crust. Top immediately with the marshmallow fluff. Make peaks in the marshmallow using the back of a spoon or a knife. Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes until the marshmallow is golden brown. Do not walk away during this process, as it will burn quickly.
Allow the pie to chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving. Pie may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Recipe adapted from Sprinkle Bakes
Additional cooling and chilling time is necessary