Two years ago when Jennifer Perillo's husband died, she asked the many people who expressed a desire to support her to make his favorite peanut butter pie. I decided to make a similar dessert in his memory--one that had the same flavors, but that my family of ice cream lovers would enjoy. Here's what i wrote at the time:
Like everyone in this community, my heart broke when I read about your terrible tragic loss. I really wanted to make your pie. Really. But life intervened. And yet… there had to be a way. This pie is in the spirit, if not to the letter, of your wonderful pie. I like to make my own ice cream, but I today I used store-bought. I made the pie to welcome home my husband (who adores peanut butter and chocolate) from a week-long business trip. And we’ll share it with our children and grandchildren, who are visiting from Austin this weekend. We promise to hug them like there’s no tomorrow. I wish I could hug you, too, and I hope you feel loved, protected and cared for from this amazing outpouring of grief and support.
1.5 quarts peanut butter ice cream (If you can’t find this, you can stir peanut butter, Reese’s pieces, and/or chopped up peanut butter cups into vanilla ice cream.)
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
Sit the ice cream on your kitchen counter and let it soften.
Put the cookies into the bowl of a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs, reserving about ¼ cup to sprinkle between ice cream layers. Combine melted butter and cookie crumbs in a small bowl, and stir with a fork to mix well. Press mixture into the bottom and partly up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Place the pan in the freezer for about 15 minutes. (You can make the crust ahead and put the ice cream in when you have time.)
Spoon the softened chocolate ice cream onto the chocolate cookie crust, and smooth the top. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs, and freeze again for about 15 minutes.
By now, the peanut butter ice cream is really soft and spreadable. Spread it over the chocolate layer, smooth the top, cover the whole pan with foil, and freeze at least an hour till solid. Grate chocolate over the top and serve.