Creamy Peanut Butter Custard Pie

After receiving some extra peanut butter from a relative, I decided the obvious thing to do was find a new recipe to use it! In a First United Methodist of Stanley (N.C.) cookbook, I found the perfect one: Peanut Butter Custard. Even better, the recipe had been submitted by Matthew’s mom, Chris Tessnear! It is by far one of the easiest pies I’ve ever had the pleasure of baking, and it is unique and delicious in taste.

Ingredients

4 eggs

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

2 cups milk (lukewarm)

Deep dish pie shell

Whipped cream

Directions

1. Mix all ingredients in a blender (or use a hand mixer) and pour into the pie shell. Be careful to mix thoroughly, because the peanut butter will try to stick to the bottom of the bowl.

2. Bake at 400 for 40 minutes or until set. (I also suggest putting a pie crust shield on about halfway through to prevent crust burning. It worked fantastically for me!)


Molly’s take: Add a dollop of whipped cream to a warm slice of this peanut buttery pie and you have arrived in heaven. The pie is not too sweet and perfect with just a little garnishing. It baked easily and I had no trouble telling if it was done. The timing was perfect. The recipe is easy, requires only one bowl, and once you’ve mixed it together, it’s ready to bake. I do recommend pie crust shields, as my oven often burns pie crusts (on the edges) if I’m not careful. Try this pie if you like peanut butter, custard pies, or just want a different sweet treat for dessert. 🙂

Matthew’s take: Perhaps the most unique and pleasing part of this pie for me was its level of sweetness. It wasn’t rich like the chocolatey pies of the world, but it also wasn’t a sweetless, savory pie option. No, it baked perfectly right in between. The mixture of ingredients combine to keep you from being too heavy on the peanut butter taste, too. With this pie, you get less of the inside of a Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup and more of a smooth, slightly nutty custard. This is definitely one I would recommend to someone who likes desserts but isn’t a big fan of chocolate or heavy sweet treats.

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Foodie Travels: Hyman’s Seafood, Charleston, S.C.

Along with New Orleans and Savannah, Charleston ranks among my favorite cities to visit and experience exquisite Southern cuisine. The South Carolina lowcountry has been a getaway destination for my family for 30 years now. Though there is an overflowing plate of dining possibilities in historic downtown alone, my visit to Charleston is not complete without a lunchtime stop at Hyman’s Seafood.

A line of hungry guests begins forming just before 11 a.m. most days at the Middle Street restaurant, just about a block off the northern end of the old market corridor. But with an extensive old wholesale goods facility now fitted for restaurant seating, Hyman’s handles the crowd pretty well.

It’s not a place where you can really savor the experience of lowcountry dining without spending a little bit of money on multiple courses. And it’s worth putting down a few extra dollars to get the complete package.

For our family, that starts with an appetizer of fried okra, which comes crunchily breaded and with a taste so fresh it leads you to believe it was grown and picked right there on the grounds, carried into the kitchen and fried just minutes before reaching your table. There are other local delicacies available as starters as well, such as boiled peanuts and fried green tomatoes.

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My typical main course always seems to be shrimp and grits. It’s a dish and city pairing that are, in my opinion, among the most iconic in the country. There’s no better place to eat shrimp and grits than in Charleston, S.C., and Hyman’s has my favorite. It’s a hearty bowl of the creamiest, hottest grits, covered with what seems like 20 large, plump, tasty shrimp. To make the most of it, you must top your dish with cheese and bacon for full effect.

A visit to Hyman’s means fried oysters for my dad, and the seafood specialty is among his favorite in town or anywhere. Hyman’s offers a large variety of broiled and fried seafood items and combinations, including a daily specials board of fresh fish options, all served with delicious side items.

One of the best things about Hyman’s Seafood is that it offers choices for people who aren’t big seafood eaters. You can even order from the menu at Aaron’s Deli, a companion restaurant right next door.

With so many chic new places in such a culinary city, it’s difficult to visit Charleston in a short period of time and try all of the hot spots. Hyman’s is my go-to spot because it’s a city institution where you can eat a variety of delicious iconic dishes special to the region. If you give it a try, pay particular attention to where you sit and which celebrity’s name is on a plaque at your place, and be sure to visit at a time when you’re not in a hurry to best surf the crowd and enjoy the experience.

Hyman’s Seafood

215 Meeting St., Charleston, S.C.

hymanseafood.com

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Decadent Toll House Pie

When I first tried a Toll House Pie, at Pike’s Soda Shop in Charlotte, N.C., I knew this was a pie I had to try at home. After perusing some old cookbooks passed down to us, I found a recipe for one. The recipe is by Rene Leonard, and it is certainly one of the more unique pies I’ve made. It differs from the restaurant pie in that it is more gooey and less cookie-like. If you make it, let me know how you like it!

Ingredients

1 cup butter (melted and cooled to room temp.)

1 six-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

Whipped cream or ice cream (for topping)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until foamy, then add the flour, sugar and brown sugar and beat until well blended.

3. Blend in the melted butter.

4. Stir in the chocolate morsels and walnuts.

5. Pour into the pie shell.

6. Bake for 1 hour.

7. Remove from oven and serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream. Enjoy!

Matthew’s take: Chocolate-and-nut combinations make for some of my favorite pies. This particular pie’s strength is its duo of walnuts and chocolate chips. It almost has a cake-like consistency within a pie shell. You get the gooey of the chocolate and the crunch of the nuts. A slice is tasty by itself, but it’s also delicious with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Molly’s take: This pie was very different from any pie I’ve ever made. The combination of pie filling, chocolate chips and walnuts made for a tasty concoction. The only thing I wish I could have done differently is find a way to keep the pie all mixed together as it bakes. This may be a typical thing, but my pie separated into chocolate chips on the bottom and walnuts on the top. If I figure out a solution, I’ll post an update! Overall, very good, but not one of my absolute favorites.

Foodie Travels: Davis Donut House, Forest City, N.C.

The often-circular sweet treat always comes filled with debate. Is it doughnut or donut? In our part of the world, is it Krispy Kreme or Dunkin’? Is it cake or glazed? Is it plain or filled with a cream?

At one of my favorite local shops off West Main Street in Forest City, N.C., the answers to all of those questions are simple.

It’s Donut.

It’s Davis, instead of Krispy Kreme or Dunkin’.

And it’s any variety you like, including delicious cinnamon rolls, bear claws, iced, cream-filleds and crullers, all baked fresh every day and available until they sell out.

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The star of the show at Davis is quite possibly the orange twist, a treat rarely seen at most donut shops, chain and unique. The slightly orangey, icing-coated twist of dough has, along with other favorites from the large glass donut counter at Davis, delighted Rutherford County residents for decades. It was among the favorite Davis items of my grandfather, who first took me to Davis when I was a young boy.

Back then, the shop was on a side street right along the main stretch of town in Forest City. The location was ideal, but the seating was almost nonexistent as I remember it. Davis has since moved west along Main Street headed toward Spindale and, while it’s a bit farther from our home than it used to be, it offers more display space for donuts and seating for customers to enjoy confections, coffee and more.

The individual treats are very inexpensive and satisfyingly filling, but you may want to be sure you have a little extra money with you on your visit. You can take home a square white box filled with any variety of Davis Donut specialties you like. And if you plan on telling your friends about the place, you should probably have an example to share with them.

Davis Donut House

652 West Main St., Forest City, N.C.

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