Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Derby Pie

I lived in Kentucky for just about 3 years. I went to school at a small Christian university just outside of Lexington. While living there I learned a lot about the people and their culture, and next to UK basketball, the Kentucky Derby is a pretty big deal. It's almost like a mini-holiday. Personally, I know how much of a sport horse racing is. My grandfather was a very accomplished pediatrician and race horses were his hobby. He owned several horses and named one after each of his grandkids. I remember attending races watching mine, my brother's, and my cousin's horses- Little Marikate Danny's-a-Honey, & Sun Shines on Kyle.

Why do race horses have such funny names? Those ones are actually quite "normal".

Anyhow, I remember going to those races. I remember hating having to dress up to sit at a noisy race track. I remember visiting the farms his horses were boarded at. I remember loving that part. I remember hearing stories of how my grandpa boarded horses at his barn before racing at the Derby. In all of my exposure as a child to the world of horse racing, I never heard of Derby Pie.

Of all places to eat Derby Pie, I was with my fellow education classmates getting ready to take a final exam for the Human Growth and Development course. The professor, Prof. Crook, had brought us all lunch, and for dessert: Derby Pie. Everyone who had eaten it before (Prof. Crook always makes it for his students before a final exam) was raving about it. Now I rave about it.

I had asked Prof. Crook for his recipe many times. I even brought him a recipe card to a class once to help him remember. It wound up taking him about 1 year to get it to me. It was a pleasant surprise when I finally got it though. My husband and I received his family's yearly newsletter around the holidays with a hand written note on the bottom of the page that read:
"The Derby Pie recipe is on the back. =) Finally."

Basic Pie Crust
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup all vegetable shortening
• 1/4 cup very cold water
• 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Prof. Crook's Derby Pie
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 stick butter, room temperature
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup chopped pecans
• 1/3 cup shredded coconut
• 1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. To prepare the pie crust combine the flour, shortening, water, and sugar in a mixing bowl and combine well using a pastry blender
2. Once the dough forms to a ball, turn out onto plastic wrap. Form into a disc, wrap tightly, and refrigerate 15-30 minutes. 
3. Meanwhile, prepare the pie filling by creaming the butter and sugar. 
 4. Add the pecans.
5. And add the coconut.

6. Set this mixture aside and begin to form the pie shell. Turn out the refrigerated pie dough onto a floured surface. 
7. Roll out the dough to an 11 inch circle. 
8. Transfer the crust to an ungreased pie dish. The easiest way to do this is to roll the crust over the rolling pin, and then roll it back out over the pie dish. 
 9. Crimp the edges with your fingers.
10. Fill the bottom of the unbaked pie shell with chocolate chips.
This would be my generous 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.
11. Pour the the butter and sugar mixture over the chocolate chips and bake in a 350 degree oven for 55 minutes. Let cool before serving.
Derby pie before baking...

Derby Pie after baking.
The top crust is crisp and flaky. Just below it's gooey and chocolatey.

This won't last long!

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