Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Derby Time Again...

Saturday is Derby Day and in Kentucky this means Derby Hats, Derby parties and my personal favorite Derby Pie®. Derby Pie® was born nearly a half century ago as the specialty pastry of the Melrose Inn, at Prospect, Kentucky.

I don't have the secret, copyrighted recipe, but I do have a facsimile that I call Kentucky Pie. I also invented a similar bar cookie that I call Kentucky Derby Squares.

So, grab your hat like my granddaughter did, whip yourself up a pie and enjoy the Derby.

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

Kentucky Pie

1 unbaked pie shell, put in pan and crimp edges.

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

4T cornstarch
1C finely chopped pecans
2 eggs lightly beaten

1/2C butter, soft or melted and cooled
1t vanilla
whipped cream [for topping, pressurized in a can 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.

Linda's Pie Crust

Yield 4 crusts, can be frozen for later use

3 C flour, don't sift
1 tsp salt
1 C butter, cold

Cut in butter till it is incorporated. You can use two knives, a pastry cutter, or my favorite, low speed on a Kitchen Aid mixer.

Mix in separate bowl: [I whipped it all together with a wire whip]
1/2 C ice water
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vinegar

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; pour in liquid and mix. Knead about 20 times. Separate into 4 balls. Use now or flatten balls a little and freeze in zip-loc bags. To use, let thaw on counter about a half hour and roll out with a bit of flour.

Bake according to whatever recipe you are using.

NOTE: This is my absolute first choice for a crust. It is very easy and the amazing thing is the crust is easy to roll out, very elastic. This makes for an unbroken crust so you don’t have the problem of the filling oozing out under the crust into the pie pan. Since I have gotten this recipe I will never go back to my old recipes.

Kentucky Derby Squares
Oven at 350°

Crust: 1 1/2 C flour

1/2 C soft butter (1 stick)
1/4 C brown sugar
Mix together and press into 13”x 9” greased pan, I use a glass casserole dish. Bake for 12-15 minutes till light brown.

1/2 C butter (1 stick) melted and cooled
1 C sugar
4 T cornstarch
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 t vanilla
1 C chocolate chips (6 oz)
1C broken or coarsely chopped pecans

Combine Sugar and cornstarch; beat in eggs, butter and vanilla. Beat for about a minute, till well blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and the pecans. Mix till distributed evenly through batter.

Pour over baked crust. Put back in oven and bake about 20-30 minutes more, till light brown and nearly “set”. Better a little under-done, than over done. Let cool and cut into squares. Makes about 32 squares. You may want to have a can of whipped cream so folks can add a dollop to their square.

Enjoy Derby Weekend,

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