Whole derby pie on white background
Derby Pie Is The Rich Kentucky Dessert That Features Bourbon
The Kentucky Derby, America's premiere competitive horse race, has its very own namesake dessert that spectators and participants have enjoyed for years: derby pie.
Also called Kentucky bourbon pie or simply chocolate pecan pie, this treat consists of gooey chocolate, pecans or other nuts, and a splash of bourbon in a flaky pastry crust.
Baking company Kern's Kitchen in Louisville, Kentucky actually has a trademark on the name "Derby-Pie." Kern's churns out hundreds of pies per day, using walnuts instead of pecans.
According to Kern Kitchen's lore, derby pie originated in 1954 at the Melrose Inn in Louisville, Kentucky run by Leaudra and Walter Kern, and originally lacked the bourbon.
Once the bourbon was added to make a spin-off to the pie, restaurants and magazines were able to sidestep legal troubles by calling their versions "Kentucky bourbon pie."
Only two tablespoons of bourbon are called for in most recipes. To make the pie, chocolate chips or chopped chocolate are mixed with toasted pecans, then added to a rich filling.
Corn syrup, egg, and brown sugar go into the filling, and the crust is a traditional buttery pastry shell. To reinforce the bourbon flavor, you can top the pie with bourbon whipped cream.
While derby pie is most famously and widely served at the Kentucky Derby, it also makes appearances during Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts held in its home state.