As chilly weather rolls in, two local pie makers are rolling out crust for their popular fall pies. Mother-daughter co-owners Jeanne Plumley and Rebecca Miller of Peggy Jean’s Pies make Chocolate Bourbon Pecan and Dutch Apple pies every single day.
Those are the two the shop rarely switches out, Miller says. “When the weather starts to turn, we can hardly keep them in stock.” Here’s a look at what goes into making these popular pies.
Peggy Jean’s pies are made with simplicity in mind. Plumley likes her creations to be straightforward with wholesome ingredients. “It’s just apples, flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg,” Miller says of the Dutch Apple pie. “It doesn’t have to be complicated. It should just be real food, and you should have fun making it.”
Although there isn’t a written recipe for the Peggy Jean’s pie crust, Plumley makes it herself almost every morning based on her mother’s recipe. “It’s super top secret,” Miller says. “Jeanne does 99 percent of the work on that, so if I am making the crust, be worried that something’s wrong.” If you ask nicely, you can even buy a pre-made crust to take your own pie game to the next level.
The dutch apple crumble
What sets the Dutch Apple pie apart is its decadent topping. Miller and Plumley cover their Dutch Apple pies with a brown sugar and butter crumble, which is also made fresh daily. The sweetness of the crumble contrasts the crisp and nutty flavors of the apples and nutmeg. The crumble is so popular they jar it up and sell it separately for those who want a little more brown sugar in their life.
Plumley concocted the recipe for the Chocolate Bourbon Pecan pie using antique cookbooks she has collected over the years for inspiration. She likes to refer to the handwritten notes in the margins and takes tips from those who owned the books before her, but she tweaks the recipes to add her own flare and fit the desires of her customers.
The chocolate bourbon pecan filling
To make the Chocolate Bourbon Pecan, Miller and Plumley layer the crust with chocolate chips and add a half cup of Maker’s Mark bourbon to the sticky-but-not-too-dense pecan mixture. The alcohol cooks out, and Miller and Plumley prefer the rich smokiness of the real stuff to an imitation bourbon flavor. The result: a smoky, chocolate-filled twist on the classic pecan pie that will leave you craving another slice.
The extra sweetness
The duo adds a splash of vanilla to both their cream-based and nut pies to give them a sweet undertone. Miller and Plumley usually opt for a “shot” of it, as opposed to actually measuring it out. “It’s really just a good squeeze,” Miller says. “We can’t help it; it just makes everything better.”
The real deal
The pair doesn’t skimp on the real ingredients. Miller and Plumley pride themselves on using real butter instead of margarine and say they go through 50 pounds a week. “What can I say? We like to use butter here,” Plumley says. Paula Deen’s got nothing on us.”