We've been hanging out in Louisville for a couple of days, and everyone here is gearing up for the Kentucky Derby next weekend.
If you are planning a Kentucky Derby party (or are following our tips for a pie social) you might consider making a derby pie. The original name and recipe are trademarked by Kern's Kitchen, the family company that invented it.
You can order the Kern's version by mail, but it's not hard to make your own — even if it's not perfectly authentic. Read on for the main ingredients and our suggestions...With apologies to the Kern family secret recipe, derby pie is, in essence, a chocolate pecan pie that uses walnuts instead of pecans.
The slice we ate last night (leftovers from an office party, so we're not sure if it was homemade or from Kern's) had a flaky, crystallized layer on top. So we wouldn't recommend topping the pie with whole nuts before you bake it, as you might with a traditional pecan pie. Mix the chopped walnuts in with the butter and brown sugar filling, and it should form a flaky shell on top.
We found this article from the NY Times, which includes an essay about derby pie and a recipe from author ZZ Packer.
You could also try this Chocolate Pecan Pie from Martha Stewart and substitute walnuts for pecans.
If you do make your own, don't forget about our recipe for Basic Pie Crust!
(Image: A Taste of Kentucky)