Being a native Kentuckian means that around this time of year I get a little homesick. Louisville is a great town all of the time, but the couple of weeks leading up to the first Saturday in May can only be described as “electric.” There may be a time when I can go home for Derby week, but our life just doesn’t allow for it at the moment.
So, I just have to settle with trying to recreate some of my family’s Derby traditions here in Chicago. The most quintessential dish of Derby Day (aside from a mint julep) is this pie. I can’t go so far as calling it a “Derby Pie” because that name was trademarked by the inn that claims to have invented it. But, it is a pie that is often enjoyed in Kentucky during the Derby festival. I’ve never been able to think up a name that quite fits as a substitute, so it will remain unnamed for now.
Essentially it is a pecan pie (some people use chopped walnuts too) with the addition of chocolates and bourbon. It can be served either room temperature, warm with a little whipped cream, or cold. My favorite is actually as a Morning After Derby breakfast treat straight from the fridge.
A pie for Derby
- 1 single, unbaked pie crust
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup white Karo syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
- 1/2 cup halved pecans
- 2 tablespoons Bourbon
- Cream butter and sugar
- Gradually add beaten eggs, syrup, salt and vanilla
- Add chocolate, nuts and bourbon
- Mix well and pour into crust
- Bake at 375 degrees for 40-50 minutes