Kentucky Derby Pie

written by Julie Cohn

I don’t drink often, especially on a weekday, so the bottle on the counter was a shock to him, apparently.  I certainly don’t do whiskey (except Black Velvet with my cousins and family, while celebrating our Polish traditions…but that’s a whole other story…)  The expression on his face was priceless.  After catching my breath from two minutes of hysterical laughter (during which time, he was thoroughly convinced that I was drunk), I explained that no, I was not hitting the bottle, I was making Kentucky Derby Pie.

Almond Kentucky Derby Pie 1“What’s that?”  he asked, still not convinced of my intoxication level (or lack thereof).  I explained that it was a pie-a cross between a toll house cookie and pecan pie, with a healthy dose of bourbon thrown in for good measure.  I told him that the pie originated in Kentucky, and was named after the famous Kentucky Derby horse race, which took place this past Sunday.  “Sounds good”, he replied, “except for the pecan and the bourbon part.”  I assured him that I was not using pecans, and that it would be very good, even with the bourbon.

Almond Kentucky Derby PieI am the only one in my house who likes pecans, so I adapted the recipe to accommodate my finicky eaters.  Although Kentucky Derby pie is famous featured with pecans or walnuts, I thought almonds would be an great substitute.  I was correct, it was quite yummy!  I hope the good folks of Kentucky forgive my indiscretion of pecan substitution, I still love the original!  Apparently CNN thought it was good enough, because they featured this recipe on their website in 2012.  Thank you CNN headline news!

Kentucky Derby Pie

  • 1/2 c. Butter
  • 1/2 c. White sugar
  • 1/2 c. Brown sugar
  • 4 Large eggs
  • 3/4 c. Light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c. bourbon whiskey
  • 1/4 c. Finely flaked coconut
  • 3/4 c. Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c. sliced almonds (or Pecans)
  • 1 Deep dish pie crust (either homemade or prepared–do not bake)

Spread the almonds on a cookie sheet and toast in 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool.  Melt the butter and place in a large bowl.  Add sugars, egg, corn syrup, vanilla, and bourbon.  Mix everything with electric beater until blended.  Add coconut and chocolate chips, and blend.   Pour the mixture into the pie crust.  The mixture will be somewhat soupy, but that is normal- it will solidify in the oven.  Sprinkle the toasted almonds over the top.

Almond Kentucky Derby Pie 2Bake in 350 degree oven for approximately 60 minutes or until set.  Remove from the oven.  If you wish to serve hot, allow to cool for about 15 minutes before serving (with a dollop of ice cream or whipped cream, of course!).  If you want to serve it cold (yummy), place in the refrigerator for about 3 hours before serving.  *(Note:  Coconut is not a part of the traditional Kentucky Derby recipe.  You can leave it out if you wish.)

By the way….are you looking for a mint julep recipe to celebrate the day?  Give this blackberry mint julep a try!




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