Today is the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby and other than the mint julep, Derby Pie is one of the great culinary traditions used to celebrate the day.
The pie originated in 1950 at the Melrose Inn in Prospect, Kentucky, by the Kern family. The name "Derby Pie" was chosen because the various family members couldn't agree on a name, so they put all the names in a hat, and pulled out the winning paper which said "Derby Pie". The family has trademarked the name and created a proprietary recipe for the pie which they market as a business, so needless to say we will not divulge our recipe! Suffice it to say that the pie is a chocolate and walnut tart in a pie shell usually made with a pastry dough crust.
We made our version with pecans, chocolate chips and Kentucky bourbon so it tastes a lot like a pecan pie with chocolate chips in it. The real topper is the Kentucky bourbon whipped cream and a sprig of mint! So we're off to the races, the roses and the excitement at Churchill Downs. Good luck to all the horses and their riders today.