Wednesday, April 29, 2009


I know this may not be exciting to you, but around here, in the Bluegrass Area, the Derby is a major event. Folks are buying hats, and making Derby Party plans. Even those who are not huge Derby fans, usually enjoy some kind of celebration with friends. It is kind of like the Superbowl in that you don't have to love football to get snacks and turn the TV on to the game/race.

At any rate, my contribution to this time of year is to pass on THE BEST DERBY PIE recipe ever. Many people who don't live in Kentucky, think of hats and mint juleps when they think of the Kentucky Derby. I have never tried a juelp, but I hear they are pretty awful. My advice--skip the julep and make a Derby Pie. You simply can't go wrong.

Also, Derby Day is when we can finally plant gardens and fragile plants outside. The danger of frost is officially over. Many Derby Days will find me planting a few flowers and savoring a piece of Derby Pie.

Let the Races begin!

Derby Pie

You will need one unbaked crust. I use a Pillsbury when I am pressed for time, but I have included my favorite crust recipes below if you want to make one from scratch.

Derby Pie

1C sugar 1C choc. chips (6oz)

4T cornstarch
1C finely chopped pecans
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 unbaked pie shell
1/2C butter, soft or melted and cooled
1t vanilla
whipped cream [for topping, canned works fine]

Combine sugar and cornstarch; beat in eggs, butter vanilla, chocolate and pecans. Pour into pie shell. Bake 350* for 40 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut in SLIM wedges (very rich) and top with whipped cream, serves 8+.

This pie freezes well. Bake, cool and wrap in foil or plastic and freeze. To serve, unwrap pie and place in 300° oven to warm gently for 35-40 minutes.

Plain Pastry Recipes

#1 Plain Pastry (for a double crust or two single crust pies)

2C flour
1t salt
2/3C shortening
5-7T cold water or milk

Sift flour and salt together; cut in shortening with knives or pastry blender. Sprinkle 1/2 the water over the flour mix; gently toss with a fork. Sprinkle the rest over and toss with fork till all flour is moistened. Form into 2 balls. Flatten on lightly floured surface, roll out and put in pie pans, or use one for top crust and one for bottom crust.

#2 Oil Pastry (for a double crust or two single crusts)

2C flour
1t salt
1/2C oil [ I use canola, but any mild vegetable oil will work]
5T cold water or milk

Stir together flour and salt. Pour oil and water together and add all at once to the flour. Stir lightly with a fork. Form into 2 balls. Roll each ball out between 2 12" square pieces of waxed paper. When dough is rolled in a circle to edges of paper, it will be right thickness for crust. Peel off paper and put in pan.

Take Care,

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