I almost didn't make this pie. It was a request made by a woman named Jennifer Perillo a week ago when her husband suddenly passed away from a heart attack. The thing is, while I had heard of her, and seen some of her tweets, I don't know her. To be honest I don't think I had even stumbled upon her blog before this tragedy struck her life. So when everyone who knew her and her husband and her girls wanted to know what they could do to help, and she asked them to make a pie I almost didn't do it. I wanted to though. I wanted to because I sympathize with her. I can't even fathom the pain she is in right now, I hope to God I never have to. But my heart goes out to her and her family. So I decided to make a pie to share with the ones I love because her intent behind the request was to bring together those that love each other. To not take our time together for granted. This precious time that is borrowed.
Each year seems to be the year of something. Something that makes that year stand out from other years in your memory. This year seems to be the year of loss. Not just for Jennifer and her girls but for a lot of people I know. This year started with a girl I knew in my teens getting murdered. Then another girl I knew from my teen years lost her mother. Friends lost pets they loved. A close friend lost a friend that was very dear to her. I lost a baby. I lost an old friend in Afghanistan to an IED. It has been a year of friends supporting each other. A year of holding hands.
So I decided to make a pie for my family. For the loved ones I have. For the loved ones I will carry in my heart. For all of my friends I know that are hurting this year, trying to put the pieces of the puzzle back together even though some are missing. This pie is for Kristen, for Mrs. C, for Ella, for Shae dog, for Pedro, for the baby that was in me and then was gone, for Ergin, and for Mikey. It's for the children that will grow up hearing stories about their parents, for the mothers and fathers that had to bury a child, for the sisters and brothers, for the loved ones, and the ones who loved. This pie is for all of us that are still here.
Hold Your Hand Pie
*Inspired by Jennifer Perillo's pie for Mikey
- 8 oz. of Nilla waffers
- 4 Tbs. of butter; melted
- 4 oz.of white chocolate; finely chopped
- 1/4 cup of pretzels; chopped
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 8 oz. of cream cheese
- 1 cup of Nutella
- 1 cup of confectioner's sugar
- 1- 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. of lemon juice; freshly squeezed
- Put the cookies into the bowl of a food processor and pulse them until they are fine crumbs. Put the cookie crumbs and the melted butter into a bowl. Stir until they are well combined. Press the cookie crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch spring form pan. Set aside.
- Melt the white chocolate in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring in between intervals until melted. Pour the melted chocolate into the bottom of the crust and lightly spread it around with a spatula. Sprinkle the top of the chocolate with the chopped pretzels. Put the crust into the refrigerator while you make the filling.
- Put the heavy cream into a medium bowl and whip it until stiff peaks form. Put the whipped cream into the refrigerator to keep it cool while you make the rest of the filling.
- Put the cream cheese and the Nutella into the bowl on your stand mixer. Mix until light and fluffy. Then add the confectioner's sugar, condensed milk, vanilla, and lemon juice. Keep mixing until it is smooth.
- Mix in about a third of the whipped cream into the nutella mixture. Then fold in the rest of the whipped cream until well combined.
- Pour the pie filling into the chilled crust. Freeze it over night.
*Get a printable version of this recipe here.*
"And death is at your doorstep and it will steal your innocence
But it will not steal your substance
But you are not alone in this
You are not alone in this
As brothers we will stand
And we'll hold your hand"
-Mumford & Sons