This recipe for my Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Meringue Pie is a vintage recipe that you probably remember from your childhood! The pie has a sweet and creamy custard layer, two layers of peanut butter, and a light and fluffy meringue topping!
For years, I’ve gotten requests from readers for a peanut butter pie. I would send them my Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pie, but several folks would reply and say things like, “No, the one I remember had a meringue topping.” or “This one looks good, but the one I was thinking about had more of a custard filling.” I just couldn’t find one that seemed to fit these all these requests.
Fast forward a bit and I find myself at home A LOT for a few months which gives me plenty of time to do one of my favorite things – flip through the hundreds of cookbooks that I have collected and had shared with me over the years. One of my favorite kinds of cookbooks continues to be the old school community cookbooks. You know the ones. They’re usually done by the local church, the junior league, or as a school fundraiser. They’re spiral or comb bound books filled with family favorites. These are always filled with great recipes because you know people are only going to submit the best recipes they have.
So I’m flipping through some of these books and I come across a recipe for Peanut Butter Pie that is wildly different than I’ve seen before. It’s a meringue-topped, custard-filled pie that has layers of a peanut butter crumble filling on the bottom and on top. I instantly think of all those requests and click over to my email to find those messages. Sure enough, it seems this must be the pie everyone has been asking about! Excited to taste it, I jump into the kitchen and whip up this deliciousness.
The result is amazing! It’s super creamy with a delicious meringue topping with two layers of peanut butter flavor. The method is a little different, but it works beautifully.
I worked on the recipe a little to update it a bit and make the process a little easier and less cumbersome – because y’all know I like easy. And I know y’all do, too!
So here it is… Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Meringue Pie – in all its glory!
How do I store a meringue topped pie?
This pie is best served chilled as it allows the filling to set up firmer, making it easier to slice. I recommend allowing it to cool on the counter completely, and then placing it in the fridge for about 4 hours to allow it to chill through. If I’m going to chill it for the 4 hours and then serve it quickly thereafter, I don’t cover the pie for the initial chill. I just place it in the fridge uncovered. To store it for a longer period of time, I place about 4 toothpicks in the meringue around the pie and lightly cover it with plastic wrap. The toothpicks keep the plastic wrap from touching the meringue and messing it up.
What kind of pie crust should I use?
I love the reliability, consistency, and convenience of a pre-made frozen crust. Simply follow the instructions to bake the pie crust prior to filling it. That said, if you’re feeling like an overachiever, you certainly can make a homemade crust.
A few other things to keep in mind:
Cornstarch is a great thickener that’s pretty reliable. If your custard won’t get thick, try increasing the heat some, just stir very frequently to keep it from sticking and scorching. The filling will need to be pretty thick – like thick pudding.
Whipping egg whites can be a little persnickety. Make sure your bowl is very clean and free of any grease or oil. A pinch of cream of tartar can also help get them to whip up if you have some in the pantry. Also make sure the egg whites are at room temperature. Keep in mind, too, that making meringue on a particularly rainy or humid day can make it super tough to get the whites to whip up correctly.
Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Meringue Pie
- 1 (9-inch) frozen deep dish pie shell
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2/3 + 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Bake the crust for a filled pie according to the package instructions and cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a small bowl, use a fork to mix the powdered sugar and the peanut butter together until it is crumbly. Spread about half of the peanut butter mixture in the bottom of the cooled pie crust. Set the other aside.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch, 2/3 cup sugar, and salt. Add the egg yolks and milk and whisk well. Heat over medium low heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until thickened – about 10 minutes. The mixture should be the consistently of thick pudding. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and butter. Stir until the butter has melted. Pour the mixture over the peanut butter mixture in the bottom of the pie crust.
- Make the meringue by beating the egg whites in a clean bowl until frothy. Gradually add the other 1/4 cup sugar and continue to beat until you get to the stiff peak stage. The time to get there varies based on the mixer you're using. The meringue should be glossy. Spread over the custard filling in the pie. Sprinkle the remaining peanut butter crumble mixture over the meringue and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely and then chill in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours or overnight before serving.
If nutritional values are provided, they are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.
This pie is DELICIOUS! It was also relatively quick and simple to make. Yay! Thank for sharing this recipe. 😁
So glad you enjoyed it!
OMG this is amazing I have been hunting this recipe for years used to make for my Dad he’s been gone over 12 years now Thank you I’m making 10 for Christmas only difference I did was no peanut butter topping all in crust a little colord sugar dust so meringue gets goldon slightly
So sweet! Enjoy!
Can’t wait to try this with peanut butter!
I use the same basic filling ingredients/recipe to make other cream pies. Add Hershey’s cocoa to the sugar and cornstarch at the beginning to make chocolate cream (same meringue). OR Add flaked/shredded coconut when you stir the butter and vanilla at the end to make coconut cream (my husband’s favorite!). For the coconut one, I also sprinkle some coconut on top of the meringue (don’t add TO the meringue – it won’t beat up), then put in 400 degree oven for about 5-6 minutes to broken it. Yummy!
Stacey, this pie is amazing! The first time I had one like it a dear friend and her mama were visiting here in Alabama. Mrs. Esther had brought two pies down from their home in Indiana. I have her recipe but the instructions were a little unclear. Yours are easier to follow. I see any of your versions of peanut butter pie on my horizon but this would be my first choice. THX for that.
Could you use a Graham cracker crust?
I don’t see why not.
We only buy the crunchy peanut butter so …….. guess I’ll make this pie with crunchy unless Stacy tells me that it won’t work.
It should work fine, but the texture of the pie may be different.
This is the pie my Mom used to make. My Dad got the recipe from a restaurant he visited back in the 60’s in Phoenix City, Alabama. It is my favorite!!
This is one of my favorites as well!
Thank You! You took me back to my childhood and Grandpa’s kitchen! My grandparents were super competitive in the kitchen and the pie wars were amazing! This pie tastes just like my Grandpa’s!
Grandma’s specialty Butterscotch with Meringue. Do you have one of those?
I have been wanting this for years!!! Thank you so much.
Sure hope you enjoy it!
Stacey, I had my doubts after tasting the custard before adding to the pie shell. I must say after the 4 hours in the fridge, I just had to cut a small slice and have a taste. Surprise, surprise as Gomer Pyle would say! It was good. The custard tho bland by itself, had to be, to offset the sweetness of the peanut butter sugar topping. I am diabetic so I don’t usually make desserts but for special occasions, this pie may have to be added to my special list. My husband adores anything peanut butter! Thank you.
Thanks for trusting the process! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!
When I was a kid – this was the Peanut Butter Pie my Mom would make!! She passed away in 2014 and I never got the recipe – she did it from memory – It’s a Tennessee thing – my family never had written recipes.
I cannot thank you enough for sharing this….I’m making it this weekend and will probably shed a tear as I enjoy it!!
I love how recipes can do that! I sure hope you enjoy it, Marshall!
How do you prevent the meringue from weeping? It makes the crust soggy. I’ve tried many different things I’ve read online but my meringue always weeps. Great recipe though!
Sometimes it’s just impossible to prevent – especially if you’re making meringue on a humid day. For me, I always try to make sure that my pie filling is hot, so it will speed up the cooking process in the oven to ensure it cooks through. Undissolved sugar can also cause it to weep, so make sure it’s fully dissolved when mixing.
Forgot to rate this pie!! It’s one of my absolute favorite!
Thanks so much, Cyndy!
Well, if you wanted this recipe earlier, you should have asked us. We would have given it to you. LOL!!
I’ve been making this pie for about 50 years, and we call it a Peanut Butter Streusel Pie. And, yes, like the others, it has been requested many times by family and friends.
BTW – If you really want to be adventurous – some of my family will drizzle a little chocolate syrup over their pieces of pie before eating it. 🙂
That sounds amazing!!!
Can’t wait to try this recipe. I am a true peanut butter lover. I have your hummingbird cake in the oven right now and cucumber & onions in the refrig. Just found your site and loving it. Thank you so much from Missouri.
I’m flattered! Thanks so much, Carrie! Hope you’ll enjoy them all!
A M Garner
Yes, 5 stars
Glad you enjoyed it!
A M Garner
This is The One. Stacy is right. No need to show off and make a pie crust from scratch. Beat those egg whites stiff and add a Tablespoon of cornstarch to them and they will be plenty strong to hold that peanut butter powdered sugar crumble. This is the peanut butter pie a popular North Alabama barbecue restaurant served for decades before the family finally got tired and closed their doors. Every missed the barbecue but they mourned the loss of this peanut butter pie.
I meant to make this 5 stars. I’m sorry!!
I wasn’t sure how to edit my post
No worries! Just so glad to hear you enjoyed it!!
Delicious and unique
This was the first meringue pie I’ve ever made.
I wanted to make something special for my sweetheart, and l he loves peanut butter and meringue. It was a stormy day yesterday, so I’m blaming my humble meringue on that 😉
I also made a lot of extra peanut butter powdered sugar crumbles and used that for a bigger peanut butter flavor.
Thank you so much for the recipe!
Ha! The humidity can have an effect on the meringue, but I’m sure he appreciated it nonetheless! So glad it turned out great for you!
Or can i maybe add cocoa powder?
Pie was great thanks.
Can i get your advice on a chocolate variation can i just add dark chocolate To the custard?
Adding cocoa powder to the filling might work, though I’ve not tried that.
I always put the peanutbutter mixture on the bottom and pile the meringue on top everyone loves this pie I have been making it for 20 years
It’s so good, right!?
This is a great pie. Everyone loves it. And it does get easier every time you make it!
So glad to hear that you enjoyed it!!
This is the same recipe that I have made for years. Every year on my son’s birthday he asks for this peanut butter pie. My husband also asks for this pie. I put 3/4 of the peanut butter mixture on the crust and the rest on top of the meringue. This is the best pie ever if you love peanut butter. I am sure the yolks were just a typing error.
Thanks for the tip, Peggy!
Can some Peanut Butter be added to the custard layer also?
I’ve not tried that, but I would imagine so.
In my recipe, you add 1 Tbs peanut butter to the custard once it starts thickening up.
Would it be completely wrong to not put so much crumble on top that you flatten the meringue that you just beat to be big and fluffy? I think I’d try 3/4 crumble on bottom and just a light sprinkling on top. Thoughts/opinions?
No, not at all. I think that would work just fine.
I may have to make one of these for the peanut butter lover in my house. In step 4. it says:
Make the meringue by beating the egg yolks
Is that supposed to be egg whites?
Sounds like a fun pie.
It is! I just typed the wrong word. I’ve got it fixed now.
Yes I’m sure she meant to put egg whites instead of egg yolks.
I did. So sorry!
She is a he!
Shouldn’t the meringue be made with the egg whites instead of yokes?
Yes, simple typo. Got it fixed. Thanks!