Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pie for Derby Day, Kentucky That Is

This week there's lots of talk about Cinco de Mayo but an American tradition, the Kentucky Derby, is also this week. Saturday at 5 pm the horses are running for the roses in Louisville.

Although I've not attended the Derby I do like the traditional foods served that day. Mint Juleps are made with Kentucky bourbon and the same bourbon flavors many Classic Pecan Pies.

"Derby Pie" is a registered trademark of Kern's Kitchen in Prospect, KY and is made from a secret family recipe created in the 1920s.

This recipe is from Baking Basics and Beyond.

Chocolate Pecan Pie

Toasting the pecans really enhances their nutty flavor. Toast the pecans while you prepare the filling. The bourbon is optional—omit it if you prefer.

MAKES 8 SERVINGS

Crust
Pastry for a 9-inch single-crust pie

Filling
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon Kentucky bourbon, if desired
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted

Topping
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon, if desired

Heat oven to 375°F with oven rack in lower third.

Crust
Roll out pastry into an 11-inch circle. Loosely roll dough around rolling pin and lift it into 9-inch pie pan. Unroll and press dough into pan edges and bottom, making sure that the pastry is not stretched.

Filling
Combine sugar, corn syrup, eggs, and salt in medium bowl, and beat with a wire whisk until smooth. Slowly stir in butter and rum (if using) and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans and pour filling into prepared crust.
Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until filling is set except for 1-inch diameter section in center of pie. You can test this using a knife, which should come out clean but will be wet.
Cool on wire cooling rack about 2 hours before serving.

Topping
Beat whipping cream on High speed in bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the whisk until soft peaks form. Scrape down sides of bowl and add powdered sugar and rum (if using). Beat until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form. Chill until serving.
Place a dollop of whipped cream on each piece of pie before serving. When I serve this warm, I usually accompany it with ice cream.