Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Jackson Pie (Puffy Muffin)

In the earlier article about Puffy Muffin, I mentioned that I had their cookbook in hand and that I was going to start trying some of the recipes. I've made two quiches already based on their recipes, but this time I decided to take on their Jackson Pie.

I had the Jackson Pie at Puffy Muffin. It's utterly delicious. In essence it's a pecan pie with chocolate chips and bourbon added. When I had my first slice there, it was that moment when I knew I had found the definitive pecan pie for me.

Last night, with their recipe in hand, I set out to create that Jackson Pie.

Here is their recipe, exactly:

1/4 cup Margarine
1/4 cup Butter
4 Eggs
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Light Karo Syrup
2 tbl. Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup or less Bourbon
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
Pecan pieces to cover bottom of pie shell
Pie Shell, uncooked

Melt the margarine and butter in the microwave and set aside. In separate bowl mix the eggs, sugar and Karo Syrup with wire whisk until well incorporated.

Combine the egg mixture and butter mixture and whisk until well blended. Stir in the vanilla and bourbon. Set aside.

Cover the bottom of the uncooked pie shell with pecans and chocolate chips. Pour the egg mixture into the pie shell. Bake until almost set in preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour. The pie is ready when it still wiggles when slightly shaken, so resist the urge to overcook!

This was our bourbon. 
How about those special ingredients? What to use?

We used these chips
It turns out that those "airline size" containers of Maker's Mark contain 1/4 cup of pure Kentucky nectar, so we used one of them.

We didn't have an idea what chips they normally use, so we browsed a little bit in the baking supplies aisle and finally settled on Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chips. We figured with the amount of sugar that was going into this pie in one form or another, we didn't need anything overly sweet.

For the pie shell, we used one of those rolled-up crusts. You can find them in a Pillsbury box-of-two anywhere; we were buying at Kroger and they have it in their Kroger brand (gee, I wonder who makes them?).  We put the crust into a glass pie plate.

We followed their instructions exactly in assembling the pie. I should mention this is the first time I ever made a pecan pie of any sort so this was all new to me. That said... you would have laughed to see me trying to lay out the pecans neatly on the bottom of the crust. I did that for a minute or so, then yielded to the sane voice in my ear and spread them around until there were pecans everywhere, then made sure there were no "piles" of them.

We put the chips in on top of the pecans.

Finally we poured the mixture in. I didn't want to move things around too much while pouring so I moved a tablespoon around over the pie plate and poured into it, letting the mixture go over the sides of the spoon. After it was all in I let it sit for a moment so the pecans would surface, then dropped a couple of pecans into the "holes" on the top.

Apologies, by the way, for not having any pictures of that whole process. We'll make up for it now. Here's what the pie looked like right after we popped it into the oven:

After about 45 minutes, here's what it looked like:

Here's where it got a little bit dicey. The instructions again:

"Bake until almost set in preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour. The pie is ready when it still wiggles when slightly shaken, so resist the urge to overcook!"

I've never baked a pecan pie before. So how much wiggle is what they had in mind? Earlier, I could see a clear difference between the edges of the pie and the middle when "slightly shaken" but now it looked less pronounced and consistent across the pie. I brought Christine over. She had never done this before either. We finally decided to go for 50 minutes and take it out then. At the 50 minute mark there was still some wiggle so we were satisfied it was not overcooked -- and it was out of the oven and safe!

The kitchen was so full of the heavenly smell of the pecans and the bourbon and the chocolate!

The plan was to bring it into work the next morning... but would it be OK? I know the pie is fine but that's when the folks at Puffy Muffin are making it. I'm not so bad in the kitchen but I don't hold a candle to them.

Here's what the pie looked like, the minute before we cut into it. You can see a few of the chocolate chips were able to elbow the pecans aside and work their way to the top:

I shouldn't have worried. So far everything I have tried in the Puffy Muffin cookbook has come out exactly as advertised. They really know how to make a recipe work for everybody!

The pie was gone in about 3 minutes. A lot of people missed out. I'll have to bake another one soon.