So I’ve never had an authentic Derby Pie, but I am obsessed with sugar pies. Not as in they are my favorite pies, but the concept just continually blows my mind. I know that this isn’t as much a sugar pie as a Hoosier Pie or Chess Pie. It’s more of a pecan pie. But who are we joking? That’s just nuts swimming in sugar.
The real Derby Pie by Kern’s Kitchen apparently uses walnuts, not pecans, but I have been discriminating against walnuts lately (see my carrot cake recipe). The walnuts are going to start picketing my house soon. “EQUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL NUTS.” (I just imagined walnuts wearing pants, which is kind of the most adorable thing ever.)
I thought it was funny when I was researching Derby Pie to find that that name is trademarked and Kern’s fiercely defends it. So that they don’t sue the pants off of me, I’m going to clearly state: this pie in no way is meant to replicate or represent the Kern’s Kitchen recipe. How could it? I’ve never even tried their pie. I’m sure it’s amazing and the people there are lovely and also attractive. (Hey, a little flattery never hurts.)
Nevertheless, a chocolate and nut pie is tradition for the Kentucky Derby. Which is somewhat appropriate considering that there still aren’t really any suitable fruits in season by the time the Kentucky Derby happens. But you could totally make this for Thanksgiving, too, and everyone would include you in their What-I’m-Thankful-Fors.
This pie is incredibly rich and gooey. But I should have expected it because 1. Kentucky is basically the South, and 2. just look at the ingredients list! I was so excited that the bourbon flavor didn’t cook out, because there’s nothing worse than wasting good bourbon on a dessert that doesn’t let it shine. But that quarter cup goes a long way here. I found myself wondering if my doctor would be okay with me eating this pie while 25 weeks pregnant, but I’m pretty sure it’s safe. I guess we’ll find out in 3 months if my baby has a weird-shaped head…
- 1½ cups (180 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup (115 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 6 tablespoons ice cold water
- ¼ cup (60 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ cup (240 grams) dark corn syrup
- ⅓ cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup (75 grams) packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cup bourbon
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (110 grams) toasted pecan halves
- ¾ cup (125 grams) chocolate chips
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter cubes to flour and toss to coat. Transfer to food processor bowl and pulse until butter chunks are the size of blueberries. Drizzle cold water over the top of the flour and pulse until dough just starts to come together. Dump dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and quickly press the dough into a disc. Wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
- Roll out the dough into a 13-inch round, then place in a 9-inch pie pan. Trim the edges so there is a 1-inch overhang. Roll the edges under and flute the edge of the crust. Place pan in the refrigerator while preparing the filling.
- Preheat oven to 350 ° F.
- In bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix butter, corn syrup, sugars, eggs, bourbon, vanilla, and salt until smooth and light in color. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips by hand. Immediately pour into chilled pie crust.
- Bake 65-80 minutes, until the filling no longer jiggles when you gently wiggle the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack, at least 2 hours, before cutting and serving.*
- *If you are impatient and don't wait long enough to cut the pie, the insides will be a bit runnier. Don't say I didn't warn you.