This pie that is a perfect way to celebrate the Kentucky Derby because it is a chocolatey, walnuty, decadent confection made by Kerns Kitchens for over half a century. It is a Kentucky tradition, and in the stores this pie will run you about eight or nine dollars — if you can find it.
But you can make your own version of this wonderful pie right in your own home – and it’s not all that hard. Start with a store crust, mix all the ingredients together into a gloppy mess, pour into the pie shell, and bake. Simple.
Here, developed through years of trial and error – motivated by desire for this pie when none were to be found – is my very own version of this wonderful Kentucky Derby treat.
Pie Recipe for Kentucky Derby Weekend
Unbaked refrigerated (not frozen) pie shell – Pillsbury is best
¾ cups of light brown sugar
¾ cups of white Karo corn syrup (or you can substitute 1/2 cup of Karo and 1/4 cup of honey)
3 large eggs
½ stick of butter, barely melted
1 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. salt
1 heaping tablespoon of cornstarch
1 cup broken, not crushed, walnuts (you can substitute pecans, but walnuts are better)
1 cup or so semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 375. While the oven’s heating, prepare your pie shell. Using a fork, gently blend the cornstarch into the butter until it’s dissolved. Now mix all the ingredients together by hand. It will look brown, lumpy, and somewhat disgusting if you’ve done it right. Pour the whole thing into the pie shell, making sure all those precious chocolate chips get into the shell.
Now cover the edges of your pie shell with Reynolds wrap or other aluminum foil to protect it from overbaking. Place your pie on the middle rack in your heated oven and turn the heat down just a little, to about 360. Bake for 45-60 minutes – until the pie doesn’t jiggle when you pull it out of the oven. Then remove the aluminum foil from the pie crust and let bake about ten more minutes, until the crust and top of the pie are a nice golden brown.
You can eat this as is, or top with ice cream. A more traditional Kentucky topping is bourbon whipped cream. Use a pint of heavy whipping cream and a tablespoon of bourbon to make this. Whip your cream with a blender until it’s just fluffy; then pour your bourbon in a few drops at a time while you continue whipping until your cream is stiff and ready to serve. A dollop of this on top of the pie makes for a tasty authentic Kentucky Derby treat.
Storage Of Your Pie
Your pie, if well-sealed, can be frozen for a couple of months, whether it’s baked or unbaked. An unbaked frozen pie should be allowed to thaw somewhat before baking to prevent uneven cooking. In your refrigerator, your pie will last a week or two.
Caloric and fat content? You don’t really want to know. Just drink your mint julep and watch the pretty horses run.