Derby Pie

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by Nancy Newcomer

Derby Pie was introduced to our family when our cousins moved to Kentucky and they would ship this delectable dessert out to us in California.  In those days, it seemed very decadent and exotic to receive it special delivery and it always came from a special bakery in Louisville, KY. Not sure which one, but I remember the classic pink box. My Aunt Mabel would tell my mom that you could ONLY get this pie in Kentucky and I believe she thought it was some sort of “secret recipe”. That may or may not be true, but I remember my mom taking that as a challenge and saying, “I bet I can replicate that Derby Pie recipe…how hard could it be?” Of course my mom was a former home-ec teacher whose specialty happened to be pie making. Thus, the experimenting began.  She perfected it and everybody loved it, but I don’t think she ever wrote it down. In fact, she may have improvised on it every time she made it!  Several years ago when my parents came to Santa Barbara for Thanksgiving, I her requested her recipe. She didn’t have anything written out, but she grabbed my copy the Joy of Cooking , looked up the Pecan Pie recipe and changed it up on the spot. She wrote her own notes in my copy of the book and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.  You will LOVE this pie~ it’s a wonderful for Thanksgiving and Christmas  :) Cheers!

Derby Pie
(makes 1 pie)


2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

3 eggs

2/3 cup sugar

3 TB unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup light corn syrup

2 tsp vanilla or Kentucky bourbon

1/2 sea salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Once oven is heated, toast nuts on baking sheet for about 5 minutes until golden brown, pull out of oven and let cool. In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, corn syrup, butter, vanilla, and salt until completely blended. Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips. Warm pie crust in oven until it is hot to the touch then pour in filling. Bake until edges are firm and center is set but still jiggly like jello when pan is nudged~ about 35 t0 45 minutes. Let cool on rack for about an hour and a half.  Serve warm or at room temperature. This is a great pie to make ahead of time, up to 2 days. Stores well in the fridge, but let it warm up to room temperature before serving. Freezes well too :) Serve with whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream.
~Tips on Making the Perfect Pie Crust.



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