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Milestones and Peanut Butter & Jelly Pie

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Last Friday was kind of big! Our Senior man child finished his very last day of all the days of High School. AND we signed on the final dotted line for our new home… demo begins this week!

Major transitions in our home usually happen in groups. Maybe you can relate? There never seems to be one sizable milestone or change occurring in isolation. NO, that would be boring! Like that time we moved to a foreign country for the first time while seven months pregnant. Or that time we sent our first born off to college while living in a hotel, building a house, transitioning into a new town, amidst husband commuting for a year from across the country. For a time period, there was a running joke in our family that went something like this… we would announce that we were moving… AGAIN, and our extended family would immediately ask, “Are you pregnant?!”. Because, just about every corporate move, I was either pregnant or toting around a new baby. Ten moves. Five babies. It’s bound to happen.

In fact this grown baby right here, was our hefty house warming gift as we moved from Belgium to Illinois. When I say hefty, it must be told that he was a whopping 10 1/2 pound house warming gift. I’d like to thank ALL the Blue Bell Ice Cream trucks for that doozy of a birth!

So, Friday we celebrated this obscure end to his High School years. Nothing extravagant (simple seems meaningful these pandemic days). A sushi date outside of our own four walls and away from all the people living in them. Just the 3 of us, among masked society #coronavirus. We went old school and sat in a real live restaurant!

We ate, we reflected. And we thanked God for every good thing he’s provided and for getting us through every hard thing we’ve encountered. Especially when they came in groups!

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.[a]

James 1:17 ESV

Then, per this quarantined senior’s request, I learned to make a peanut butter and jelly pie. I literally would have made a thousand pies for him. I find baking our feelings through all the cancelled things is good therapy.
Bonus: the pie was super easy!

In all transparency, the initial thought of putting peanut butter and jelly into a pie well, just seemed wrong. Like making a popcorn flavored ice cream. Just no. However, this is my boy, my brood! Hence, I would have attempted any pie for this dimpled darling.

So, I did some research, aaaaand apparently there’s an entire subculture of PB&J pie fans! I went with two very different recipes. Each one with a completely opposite approach.

Refrigerator pie version brought us a graham cracker crust with a cream cheesy peanut buttery filling topped with a layer of raspberry preserves and whipped cream. I added my own twists with sliced banana sandwhiched between the jelly and whipped cream and a dusting of crushed grahams on top. Cooked custard version brought us a crushed saltine cracker crust base with a cooked peanut butter infused cream filling and a gelatin like layer of jelly.

The Verdict…

By a landslide, the cream cheese graham cracker number was the winner! Besides, it was the easiest thing since… the electric can opener. (Do people still use those? Like the ones mounted underneath a cabinet? Ok. So here is the recipe for your grown up, kid at heart, appetite. Or just your kids. Or both.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Pie

Prep Time10 minutes
Servings: 8 people


pie filling

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 graham cracker or chocolate crumb crust (9 inches)
  • 1/2 cup strawberry preserves
  • 2 bananas sliced

whipped cream (or substitute store bought whipped topping)

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 4 Tbsp granulated sugar


  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and peanut butter until smooth.
  • Spoon into crust.
  • Top with preserves.
  • Add sliced bananas in a layer on top of preserves.
  • Top with whipped cream
  • Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  • Sprinkle some crushed graham crackers on pie just before serving.

whipped cream

  • Place sugar and cream in a mixing bowl and mix on medium high until the cream reaches stiff peaks.


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