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You Asked For It: Peanut Butter Pie from Iris's Family Restaurant

Iris’s Peanut Butter Pie is from Tamara Helms, owner of the former Iris’s Family Restaurant in Dunedin.

ELLEN FOLKMAN | Special to the Times

Iris’s Peanut Butter Pie is from Tamara Helms, owner of the former Iris’s Family Restaurant in Dunedin.

Can you please get the recipe for the peanut butter pie from Iris's Family Restaurant that was in Dunedin? It was delicious. Thank you.

Dixie Scott, Dunedin

I've known Tamara Helms, owner of the former Iris's Family Restaurant in Dunedin and now a partner in Peggy O'Neill's in Palm Harbor and Tampa, for many years. When I asked for her peanut butter pie recipe, she was happy to give it to us. My taste testers and I agree that this pie is delicious, just as Dixie said. It's a custard-based pie, giving it a creamy, puddinglike texture that's not too sweet. The extra-crunchy peanut butter adds texture, too. Tamara was adamant about using Jif extra-crunchy. She has tried other brands but said she found them too oily. I prepared a refrigerated Pillsbury crust in my own glass pie pan for the no-bake pie but you could certainly make your own prepared crust with a frozen — or homemade — pie shell. For the Pillsbury crust, you place it in the pan and prick it with a fork all around, then bake and cool. The key to making the pie filling: Don't rush the thickening process. I also held back some of the milk to mix with the cornstarch so as not to add cornstarch to hot liquid. I whisked the eggs and milk to break up the eggs, then switched to a wooden spoon for stirring. When sifting the sugar and salt, use a large sieve or you'll never get it sifted. Don't walk away from the stove — you need to keep an eye on the mixture.

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Recipes tested by Times correspondent Ellen Folkman unless otherwise noted. Send requests to You Asked For It, P.O. Box 1159, Crystal Beach, FL 34681 or email Please include your name, city and phone number. Phone numbers will not be published.


Iris's Peanut Butter Pie

4 egg yolks

3 ½ cups whole milk, divided

6 ½ tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon salted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup (heaping) extra-crunchy Jif peanut butter

1 (9- or 10-inch) pie crust, baked and cooled

Combine egg yolks and 3 cups milk in medium saucepan and warm over medium low heat.

In a medium bowl, combine the remaining ½ cup milk with the cornstarch until smooth. When warm, sift the sugar and salt into the egg mixture. Add the cornstarch mixture and continue stirring. Raise heat to medium. Stir periodically and if lumps begin to form, whisk briefly. Stir until thickened and starting to bubble. Let bubble for one minute.

Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla. Mix well. Add peanut butter and mix thoroughly.

Cool until just slightly warm and then scoop custard into prepared pie shell. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Source: Tamara Helms, owner of the former Iris's Family Restaurant in Dunedin

You Asked For It: Peanut Butter Pie from Iris's Family Restaurant 08/11/14 [Last modified: Monday, August 11, 2014 4:46pm]
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