derby pie

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Derby pie is a classic Kentucky dessert made with my favorite spirit, bourbon! Think of a pecan pie. Now add the decadence of chocolate chips and bourbon. What does that equal? Deliciousness!

It was created in 1950 at the Melrose Inn in Prospect, KY, and is the signature dessert of the Kentucky Derby.

I kick up my standard pie crust recipe with finely ground pecans to layer the flavors and add more texture.


derby pie


1 1/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons pecans, coarsely ground
1 stick cold butter, cut into small cubes
3 tablespoons very cold water

  • Stir together flour, sugar, salt, and ground pecans in stand mixer with flat beater.
  • Add butter and toss with a fork to coat with flour mixture. Mix on low speed until it resembles the texture of cornmeal with the butter pieces no larger than peas. Add water and mix on low speed just until the dough pulls together.
  • Transfer dough to a floured work surface and roll dough into a 12-inch diameter. Place into 9-inch pie pan, or 10-inch tarte pan.


1 1/2 cups pecan halves
1 cup dark chocolate chips (I always use Ghiradelli)
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
3 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Sprinkle pecans and chocolate evenly onto piecrust. 
  • Combine corn syrup, sugar, brown sugar, and bourbon in a large bowl. Whisk in eggs, butter, and salt.
  • Pour filling over pecans and chocolate in piecrust.
  • Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until middle is set.

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