At Jeremy's graduation party over the weekend there were a number of dietary concerns to take into consideration, which is why we decided to simply serve desserts rather than hors d'oeuvres or lunch or anything more substantial (or nutritious!).
Many of the people we invited keep kosher, and thus cannot mix meat and dairy products at the same meal. One of our friends has a severe dairy allergy, and so that would have mandated a meat meal if we'd had any notion of providing something for him to eat; but it would have had to meet Rabbinic standards, which would make it prohibitively expensive.
Then, if we'd served a meat meal, that would have relegated our vegetarian friends to eating salad or vegetable sticks or hummus because they won't eat fish, and goodies like macaroni and cheese couldn't be served; and none of this even takes into consideration the picky eaters (bane of my existence) ... oy! My head started to spin in trying to find options for everyone, and so I finally gave up and settled on sweets, a universal favorite.
Those who keep kosher, for the most part, will eat dairy products which have been made in a treyf ([TRAYF] = non-kosher) kitchen like mine. And they'll especially eat things that are pareve [PAHRV], which is neither meat nor dairy such that they can accompany either type of food. And so this was easy -- bake some cookies with toffee chips that were dairy ... serve some fruit, which is obviously vegan ... and make use of items like soy milk to make pareve options. Everyone, in theory, should be happy! (As you can see from the card in the photo above, I labelled each offering so that people would know which category it fell into and not put their health -- or my peace of mind, God forbid! -- at risk.)
When I make pareve items I use non-dairy chocolate chips (which I could pay a lot of money for at a health food store, but which conveniently can also be found as the generic brand at a local grocery store), though you could easily use any other type of chip you want to if dairy products are not a concern. (Although this photo actually shows a bag of pretzels, you can see the designation for the item being "pareve" right next to the OU symbol, which is the highest certification for meeting kosher standards. "Oh, so that's what that little doohickey means! I always wondered ....") And the non-dairy butter substitute of choice -- frankly, the only one I'll use after extensive searching for one that works properly and tastes good -- is Earth Balance. It's still not quite butter, but ....
So today I'll share with you a pareve recipe which works for people who keep kosher, as well as for folks with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance. My Peanut Butter Pie is truly rich, luscious, delicious, and indulgent. Enjoy!!!
Peanut Butter Pie
1 9" pie crust (I bought one at the health food store made with no lard, no butter, no shortening, no hydrogenation)
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup corn syrup
2/3 cup vanilla soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup non-dairy chocolate chips
3 tablespoons finely chopped honey-roasted peanuts
Place the crust into a pie pan. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks, brown sugar, peanut butter, corn syrup, soy milk and vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then beat them into the peanut butter mixture.
Pour into the pie crust and bake for 30 minutes or so until the filling is set when tested with a toothpick. Cool completely.
Melt the chocolate chips and drizzle the melted chocolate over the pie. Sprinkle with the peanuts and let set until chocolate firms up.
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