The South is notorious for its cooking. While that cuisine involves frying enough food that even thinking about it gives me left arm pain, there are definitely a few things that the South got right: 1) Sweet Tea, 2) hot sauce, and 3) pies. Maybe that last one strikes you as odd, but pie isn’t a super normal thing in Kansas. When we did have it, or when people brought it to a potluck it was almost invariably one of 4:
- Pumpkin (my favorite)
- Pecan (or if you’re my mom chocolate pecan)
- Oh and the occasional “French Silk” which is more like instant pudding in a premade crust topped with cool whip.
Here there is a lot of pie. So many kinds of pie…. I never knew it before but pie can be a glorious thing. The south definitely got pie right. More specifically Kentucky definitely got pie right.
Kentucky is home to a pie called “Derby Pie.”
A few decades ago the Kern family at the Melrose Inn in Prospect, KY invented the Derby Pie. They have a patent on it, so the real recipe is not known by the general public. Consequently, if you look up recipes for it you notice that none are titled “Derby Pie” because no one wants to be sued for patent infringement. The second thing you will realize is that everyone has adapted it to their own preferences. Some people use walnuts (which I think is what the original uses, but I am not positive), and others use pecans. Some people use bourbon, and some people omit it. So recipes resemble a traditional Southern Pecan Pie recipe, and others are more like making chocolate chip cookies in pie crust.
I know this is a lot of information, and all you really want right now is to know how to make this pie so you can stop drooling and start eating. We’re getting there. I just wanted to share with you everything that I learned when I was preparing to make a Derby style pie for my office’s Derby pool drawing last Friday.
To avoid being sued, and because I have never had the original version, I am going to take a cue from Martha Stewart and call this pie the Run for the Roses Pie. You will notice that mine has a bit of everything in it. I was making it for the office so I decided to load’er up so that I could make all kinds of nuts and chocolate lovers happy.
Run For the Roses Pie
This Derby Style Pie is like eating the best chocolate chip cookie dough you’ve ever had in a sweet, flakey crust.
- 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
- ⅓ cup Cold Shortening
- 1-2 tablespoons Sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons Cold Water
- 1 cup Chocolate Chips (for mine I used part milk chocolate and part dark chocolate)
- 1 cup finely chopped Nuts (I used ¾ cup walnuts and ¼ pecans)
- ¾ cup packed Light Brown Sugar
- ¼ cup Granulated Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Light Corn Syrup
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 10 tablespoons Butter, browned
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1 or 2 tablespoons Bourbon
- Mix flour and sugar in medium bowl. Cut in shortening, until your mixture starts looking mealy.
- Sprinkle in the cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork until you have a moistened dough that is beginning to stick together (a tiny bit more water can be added if needed).
- Using your hands, gather the dough together into a ball, form it into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to chill for 30-45 minutes.
- Once the dough has chilled and hardened some, remove from fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. You will want it to be a couple inches bigger than your up-side down pie pan. I rolled mine pretty thin, less than a ¼ inch thick and ended up trimming off a lot of extra, but the crust was perfect when it baked.
- Trim off the extra crust and flute the edges using your preferred method.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips and nuts over the bottom of the unbaked pie crust.
- Start browning your butter in a skillet. Let it sit their and melt over medium heat till it turns colors and starts smelling amazing! Stir it occasionally.
- While the butter is browning measure the sugars and flour in a mixing bowl and combine them.
- Add in the eggs, vanilla, and bourbon. Mix till the eggs are fully emulsified.
- Once the butter is browned, let it cool for a minute or two and then mix in to the batter.
- Pour the batter over the nuts and chocolate chips in the crust. If you want all your goodies to be on the bottom place the pie in the oven immediately. If you want them to disperse a little more then let it sit on the counter for a few minutes. The nuts and chocolate chips will start to rise, mixing into the pie a little more.
- Bake for 30 to 50 minutes, until just barely set and lightly browned. This is a large range because I had two pies in the oven at the same time. You want your pies to still jiggle a little when you take them out, but not jiggle too much.
- Let the pie set out and finish setting for a couple of hours or overnight. The result should be like cookie dough in light, flakey crust.
- Slice, serve, eat, and go back for seconds.
Boy did it ever make them happy! Rave reviews on this pie from all of my coworkers, and it definitely has the Hubster Seal of Approval! Go make this pie, you won’t regret it. It’s like eating the best chocolate chip cookie dough you’ve ever had in a sweet, flakey crust.
Do you have any special pies that you make?
❤ & prayers,