This is NOT Derby Pie, I repeat, NOT Derby Pie.
So what is this delicious creation you ask? It’s an approximation of the original Derby Pie that we like to call Race Day Pie. I'm sharing it in honor of "The Greatest Two Minutes of Sports", the Run for the Roses, the Kentucky Derby.
Now, my connection to Kentucky, Louisville and the Derby is through marriage, however, my husband’s Louisville roots run deep (like his dad was the University of Louisville mascot deep) and that is what’s important on race day.
It's a simple and fun way to introduce kiddos to the idea of tradition and simple desserts always go hand in hand with tradition around here. My husband is proud of his roots, proud to be from Louisville and the Kentucky Derby is the most important weekend of the year (outside of the entirety of basketball season).
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A great pie to eat while watching the Kentucky Derby!
Race Day Pie (NOT Derby Pie) has been a Derby day tradition since 1954 when the Kern Family created this pie in Prospect, Kentucky. Interested in the real thing and how it got started? Check them out here.
I was introduced to it when I went to Louisville for my first Derby Week experience over a decade ago. As with most things I experience, the food always sticks out to me.
That weekend, Derby Pie stood out as a favorite. (I’m a sucker for gooey, chocolatey goodness, I mean, who isn’t?). I also remember that I picked the right horse to with the Kentucky Derby. Beginners luck I guess 🤷♀️!
What kind of bourbon is best for baking?
My husband is the real bourbon afficiando in our home and when I needed to pick a bourbon for baking with I turned to him. Here are his top three suggestions for baking with:
- Old Forrester
- Trader Joes Bourbon
- Heaven Hill (bottled in Bond)
And his top three favorites to drink in no particular order (in case baking something even this simple isn't your thing!)
- Russell's Reserve Single Barrel
- Knob Creek
- Elijiah Craig
*Want to talk more about bourbon? Found an interesting bottle, want to get tasting notes on something you have on your shelf? Find him on Instagram @ratebourbon, he'd love to chat!
Want to get bourbon delivered right to your door? Try using Drizly, it's a beverage delivery service than can have bourbon (and lots of other drinks) delivered to you in about an hour!
How do make Race Day Pie (remember, it's not Derby Pie!)
What makes this recipe so simple is that I don't make my own pie crust. I never have, probably never will. I buy mine frozen and nobody has ever complained! If you have a favorite pie crust recipe, go ahead and use that here, it will work just as well.
Take your frozen pie crust out. and let it sit on the counter while you prep the filling. Then you'll need to chop (and toast if you like) the walnuts.
Once that's done, all you'll need a whisk and a mixing bowl. Start by whisking the eggs, flour and sugar together, then add in the melted (and cooled) butter. Whisk until well incorporated.
Now, whisk in your bourbon, stir in the walnuts and your filling is done.
To assemble, line the bottom of the cooled pie crust with the chocolate chips (I like to use Ghiradelli 60% cocoa chips, but use any semi-sweet chip you like). Then, pour the rest of the filling into the pie crust.
Bake the race day pie on baking sheet just in case any of the filling spills over the pie crust. Trust me when I say cleaning burnt sugar off the bottom of the oven is no fun!
Tips and Tricks:
- Let your finished Race Day Pie cool completely before cutting into it, the middle needs to set up a bit for a clean cut.
- Enjoy with a classic mint julep, with friends, while watching the ponies race.
- This dessert is great on it's own, but would go really well with a scoop of vanilla ice cream with caramel drizzled on top!
Looking for other easy desserts? Check these out:
Race Day Pie (NOT Derby Pie)
- 1 frozen pie crust or your favorite pie crust recipe
- 1 cup chocolate chips I like to use 60% Ghiradelli chips, but use what you like
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup flour
- 1 stick butter ½ cup, melted and cooled
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 ½ tablespoons bourbon or 1 tablespoon vanilla if you prefer
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Whisk eggs, sugar and flour together in a medium bowl.
- Add the melted, cooled butter to the mixture and whisk together until smooth.
- Add the bourbon and whisk well again.
- Stir the nuts into this mixture until well distributed.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the base of the pie crust.
- Pour the filling directly over the chocolate chips into the crust and shake a bit until everything is even on the top.
- Place on a baking sheet and put into the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour.
- When done, remove from oven and let set and cool about 30 minutes before cutting