The perfect Derby party pie!!
I’m proud to say I live in the great bluegrass state of Kentucky, and home of the Kentucky Derby. The Kentucky Derby is on May 4th, at Churchill Downs in Louisville and thousands of spectators flock to this special annual event from all across the country. However, the Kentucky Derby is about much more than a horse race. It’s about other traditions that have been a part of the Kentucky Derby for decades… mint juleps, large fancy hats and a pie known to many as “derby pie” play an integral part of the derby.
George Kern created and put his trademark on the original Derby Pie, over 50 some years ago. His recipe consists of chocolate and walnuts and a filling similar to that of pecan pie. Over the years, others have made their own version of this pie, replacing walnuts with pecans, and adding some bourbon. No one is allowed to call their version Derby Pie, since it is trademarked by the Kern family, so most people call their version something similar or the same as what I call mine…Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie.
Here’s how I made my version of this delicious pie…
I started by making a pie crust. I made a homemade crust and partially blind baked the crust prior to pouring the filling in it. This prevents a soggy bottom crust. You can use a store bought crust if preferred, but you still need to blind bake it. For my favorite flaky homemade pie crust recipe, click here.
Next I made a few changes to my regular pecan pie filling and whisked everything together, adding a special ingredient of course…bourbon. I used Woodford Reserve Bourbon from right here in Kentucky but you can use any kind.
And here comes the chocolate. I placed chocolate chips and coarsely chopped pecans in the bottom of my partially baked pie shell, before adding the batter that is also pecan loaded. Once the pie starts baking, the chocolate melts and mingles its way into the filling.
Looks like a regular pecan pie doesn’t it? Nope…it’s sure not! But wait…we’re not done yet.
I hadn’t added enough chocolate yet. Besides, I wanted my pie eating friends to know they weren’t eating a regular piece of pecan pie. So…I whipped up a little bit of chocolate ganache. This took a whole 2 minutes. All I did was heat up a tiny bit of whipping cream and toss in some chocolate chips, and I drizzled it back and forth over the top of the pie. Next, I whipped up some whipping cream in my mixing bowl and added a tiny splash of bourbon and some powdered sugar. The perfect finishing touch.
RUN FOR THE ROSES!!!
- 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup dark corn syrup such as Karo
- 2 tablespoons good bourbon, such as Woodford Reserve
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, such as Ghirardelli
- 2 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped, divided
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon good quality bourbon such as Woodford Reserve
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Position oven rack in center of oven.
- Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl except for the pecans and chocolate chips. Using a wooden spoon, mix ingredients until thoroughly combined. Add 1 1/2 cups of the pecans and mix to incorporate. Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the bottom of the pie crust. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of pecans over the chocolate chips. Pour the filling over the pecans and chocolate chips and gently shake pie pan to level the batter.
- Place foil around edges of pie crust. Place pie on a cookie sheet and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until pie is set in the center. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to completely cool.
- Add the whipping cream to a measuring cup and heat in a microwave until it's very hot but not boiling. Add the chocolate chips, allow to set for 2-3 minutes and mix with a spoon until all chocolate is melted and the whipping cream and chocolate are combined and smooth. Using a spoon, drizzle the chocolate across the top of the cooled pie, in a backwards and forth motion. Allow pie to set for a few minutes for ganache to set.
- Add the whipping cream to the mixing bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment or use a hand mixer. Whisk on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the bourbon and powdered sugar and whisk on high speed for about 1 minute or until stiff peaks form. Serve immediately or refrigerate.
- Pie does not need to be refrigerated. However, if not serving right away, I suggest refrigerating it to retain its freshness longer.
- Prep time includes making a homemade pie crust.
- I decided to try a different pie crust for this recipe, using half butter and half shortening, but was slightly disappointed. It was not as flaky as my usual all shortening pie crust. My usual is "Aunt Elsie's Flaky Pie Crust" and has never failed me.