Sunday, August 20, 2017

Peanut Butter Pie from Gayle Leeson


A very warm welcome to Gayle Leeson! Her Down South Cafe series is right up our alley. Don't miss the book giveaway at the end!

In the Down South Café series, the protagonist Amy accuses her elderly Aunt Bess of not realizing there are other food categories besides desserts. However, the older I get, the more I embrace the motto of “Life is short. Eat dessert first.”

The first book in the Down South Café series is called The Calamity Café.  Amy Flowers is ready to end her boss’s reign of terror at Lou Lou’s café (called Lou’s Joint, in honor of Lou Lou’s dad) and offers to buy the place. At first, Lou Lou flat out refuses. Later that evening, Amy gets a call from Lou Lou’s son, Pete. He says he has his mother talked into selling and asks Amy if she can meet them at the café after closing time. When Amy arrives, she and Lou Lou are the only people there. And Lou Lou is dead. Amy has to solve her boss’s murder in short order because she’s one of the police department’s prime suspects.

Silence of the Jams, the second book in the series, revisits all the eccentric characters of The Calamity Café, including George Lincoln, the obnoxious Chamber of Commerce director who is always trying to buy Amy out. George wants to tear down the café and put a bed and breakfast on the historic site. During breakfast at the Down South Café one morning just before Independence Day, George enjoys his last bite of food before collapsing onto the floor. At first, everyone thought it was a heart attack. But the autopsy reveals George was poisoned. And poor Amy has to prove her innocence once again.
The third book in the Down South Café series is Honey-Baked Homicide, and it will be released on December 5, 2017. In Honey-Baked Homicide, Amy comes face to face with the problem of the decreasing honeybee population when she begins selling honey on consignment for local beekeeper Stu Landon. The local honey is popular with café patrons, but no one knows much about the mysterious Mr. Landon…at least, not until he turns up dead in the parking lot of the Down South Café. That’s when his mysterious past begins to come to light.

No Southern café book would be complete without recipes, so all three books include them, and some of my favorites are the desserts. Here is a recipe for the peanut butter pie included in Silence of the Jams. I’ve included photographs and a video by the incredibly talented Kim Davis ( because she styles her photos so beautifully (and I, sadly, do not).

Peanut Butter Pie
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 9-inch piecrust, baked and cooled
2/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch, divided
3 eggs, separated
2-1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
Place the confectioners' sugar in a bowl.
Cut in the peanut butter with a pastry blender until crumbly.
Set aside 2 tablespoons for garnish and sprinkle the remaining crumbs into the pie shell.
In a saucepan, combine 2/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup cornstarch, egg yolks, and milk.
Cook over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
Add the butter and vanilla, stirring until the butter melts.
Pour into the pie shell.
In a small saucepan, combine the remaining sugar and cornstarch with water. Cook over low heat until thickened. Cool slightly.
Beat the egg whites until stiff.
Fold in the cornstarch mixture.
Spread the meringue over the hot filling, sealing the edges.
Sprinkle the reserved peanut butter mixture over the top.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow pie to cool completely before serving.
Yield: 8 servings

Gayle Leeson is a pseudonym for Gayle Trent. I also write as Amanda Lee. As Gayle Trent, I write the Daphne Martin Cake Mystery series and the Myrtle Crumb Mystery series. As Amanda Lee, I write the Embroidery Mystery series.

The cake decorating series features a heroine who is starting her life over in Southwest Virginia after a nasty divorce. The heroine, Daphne, has returned to her hometown of Brea Ridge to open a cake baking and decorating business and is wrestling with the question of whether or not one can go home again. She enjoys spending time with her sister, nephew, and niece, but she and her mother have a complicated relationship that isn’t always pleasant. Daphne has also reconnected with her high school sweetheart and is pursuing a rekindled romance while desperately trying to put her past behind her.

Kerry Vincent, Hall of Fame Sugar Artist, Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show Director, and Television Personality says the series is “a must read for cake bakers and anyone who has ever spent creative time in the kitchen!”

Says Dean Koontz, #1 New York Times bestselling author, “One day I found myself happily reading . . . mysteries by Gayle Trent. If she can win me over . . . she’s got a great future.”

 Leave a comment below to enter to win a copy of SILENCE OF THE JAMS!


  1. Welcome, Gayle! What a lovely post and what a busy girl you are. Thanks for joining us. MJ (off to share)

  2. Oh my what a yummy looking pie! This book looks like a good read.

  3. The pie looks goods.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

  4. The pie looks yummy and the book sounds interesting! Thanks for the chance.

  5. I can attest how delicious this Peanut Butter Pie is!!! Thanks for the shoutout, Gayle, it's certainly a pleasure sharing my photos :) (You can remove me from the contest as I've already read your delightful book.)

  6. How can a person not love peanut butter pie? And thank you for offering the giveaway

  7. What kind of terrior is on the cover? I hope the terrior is part of the mystery. And, that pie recipe looks delicious.

  8. This pie needs to be on a plate next to me with a cup of coffee while reading this book!

  9. I love peanut butter pie. Thanks for the chance

  10. one of my favorite pies..thanks for chance to win

  11. That pie looks delicious! And thanks for the contest.

  12. My son in law would like this pie. Can't wait to make. dbahn(at)

  13. Thanks for a chance to win a copy of your book. And the pie sounds delicious as well.

  14. New author and series is so exciting. Thanks for the intro with a lovely post. Pie is a must do. This family loves peanut butter anything. Della at deepotter (at) peoplepc (dot) com

  15. Thanks for all of the great posts, week after week, as well as delicious recipes. This series looks like a must for me.

  16. I would love a slice of that pie right now with a cup of coffee! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  17. Laughing. That café sounds like a dangerous place to be! I can't believe I've never had peanut butter pie.

  18. I'm drooling just reading the blog - not just the pie recipe but insight into Gayle Leeson's book. Thank you for hosting Gayle and her book on your blog. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

  19. Sounds like a great book! And the pie sounds amazing! =)

  20. I can't wait to start this series. The pie sounds fabulous.. now if I could only learn to bake ;) Thanks for the chance

  21. Sounds like a fun series! Thanks for the recipe!

  22. I have a dear friend who believes in eating dessert first. Thanks for the recipe.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  23. This looks absolutely wonderful! Thanks for sharing the recipe and thanks for the chance to win! aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

  24. This pie sounds & looks yummy. I enjoy your Amanda books, but have yet to read your Gayle books. It's time to start.

  25. Great pie. And equally great books. On my book list every time

  26. Great recipe! Book sounds great also, would love to read. It's already on my TBR list.

  27. My sons would devour this! Cheers At MarjimManor dot com

  28. I can't wait to make the peanut butter pie. I have all ingredients on hand so maybe tomorrow. Would love the book, too.

  29. Welcome, Gayle! The Peanut Butter Pie sounds delicious; and the book sounds like an awesome read!

  30. I have never had peanut butter pie before. It looks yummy. And, the book sounds terrific, too. lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. The pie looks delicious! Thank you for sharing your recipe. Your books sound great; thank you for the chance to win one!

  33. Welcome, I love finding new authors, new series, and new recipes! Thank you! Meg85242 at gmail dot com

  34. Oh the Peanut Butter Pie looks to die for...and the mystery would be perfect to read while eating a slice...done and done I have to try this...Marilyn

  35. That pie looks scrumptious! Different from the usual peanut butter pies I see around here. Read book one of this series and would love a copy of Silence of the Jams. Thanks for the chance to win. patwalkerp(at)gmail(dot)com

  36. What a delectable pie. Thanks for this lovely feature and giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  37. The book and pie would be greatly enjoyed. Together since both are special. Thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  38. That pie looks absolutely incredible. I have 0 luck whenever I try to make desserts. It just not my thing. :(
    I just added Silence of the Jams to my goodreads account. Can't wait to read it even if I don't win! Thank you!

  39. Please enter me. Mmmm Pie.
    clarksrfun at gmail dot com