Kentucky Derby chocolate pecan pie

A Kentucky Derby dessert almost as quick to make as the race itself.

Scripps Howard Photo Service/Newscom
The combination of pecans and chocolate chips in a pie served warm with whipped cream has secured its place in the winner's circle of desserts enjoyed on Kentucky Derby Day.

Kentucky Derby Pie is a trademark pie of the Melrose Inn, in Prospect, Ky. More specifically, "Derby Pie" is the trademark name and the Kern family who came up with it have been thorough in making sure they retain copyright control over the recipe. (Derby Pie may not have the secrecy of the vault-protected Coca-cola's recipe, but it comes pretty close.)

The winning combination of chocolate, pecans (or walnuts), and melted butter served warm with whipped cream is so tasty that hundreds of home cooks have undertaken the challenge over the years to recreate the pie that is now associated with Kentucky Derby day. You can use pecans or walnuts, but it is pecans that showcase the pie's Southern flavors.

Also, if you serve this dessert at a Derby Party or any other time, make sure you pronounce "pie" correctly – it is "pahhh." As in, "Would you like some fresh pahhh?" Make sure you draw out the "pahhh" until you run out of breath, kind of like a sigh of relief. (I learned this technique after sampling pahhhs across Lexington, Ky. for two decades.)

Then you smile, because Kentucky hospitality is as sweet as its desserts.

Kentucky Derby Chocolate Walnut Pie
Serves 6-8

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup shelled pecans (or walnuts), chopped
1 cup chocolate chips

1 unbaked 9-inch pastry shell

Whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl mix sugar and flour. Stir in eggs, butter, and vanilla. Add walnuts and chocolate chips and stir until combined.

Spread mixture evenly in pastry shell.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until set. The pie should be soft and chewy but not runny.

Serve warm with whipped cream.

Note: Many recipes Kentucky Derby pie recipes use Kentucky bourbon, but this is not necessary for this delicious pie.

Related post: Southern pecan pie

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