Kentucky “Dirty” Bourbon Pie

In case you missed my post from yesterday, Kentucky Dirty Bourbon Pie is my son’s name for this incredible dessert. Why not just call it Derby Pie, like the rest of the country, you ask? Well, while you can SAY Derby Pie all you want, out loud, in conversation, you can’t actually NAME your dessert Derby Pie. derbypie2Derby Pie is the trademarked concoction of Kern’s Kitchen, and they don’t like you just throwing Derby Pie out there, all free spirited. With good reason – they have been the official Kentucky Derby Bakery for over 50 years, and, to be fair, I guess they DID kind of invent this amazingly simple and delicious pie.

You can get online and find numerous adaptations of this historic dessert, and you’ll find that most are quite similar. Crust, filled with a walnut and chocolate chip sweetness, that when baked and ready to consume, has the flavors of melty, ooey, gooey, chocolate chip cookies – except better. I was concerned, quite frankly, at the ease of it – and the batter itself was nothing to write home about. But the end result? Dear Lord. My butt will never be the same now that I know how to make this pie.

You may find that a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream takes this deliciousness over the top, or, if you aren’t into full-on decadence, a dollop or two of bourbon whipped cream would be a wonderful addition. Either way, you’re onto something good!

I hope you’ll give it a shot, and let me know what YOU think!

Kentucky Dirty Bourbon Pie

makes one 9-10 inch pie

For the Crust

Sweet Tart Dough (Pâte Sablée)
From Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home To Yours

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon (my own addition)

Put the flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to combine.

Scatter the pieces of butter over the dry ingredients and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in–you should have some pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and some the size of peas.

Stir the yolk, just to break it up, and add it a little at a time, pulsing after each addition. When the egg is in, process in long pulses–about 10 seconds each–until the dough, whisk will look granular soon after the egg is added, forms clumps and curds.

Just before you reach this stage, the sound of the machine working the dough will change–heads up. Add the bourbon in now.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and , very lightly and sparingly, knead the dough just to incorporate any dry ingredients that might have escaped mixing.

To press the dough into the pan: Butter a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Press the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of the pan, using all but one little piece of dough, which you should save in the refrigerator to patch any cracks after the crust is baked.

Don’t be too heavy-handed–press the crust in so that the edges of the pieces cling to one another, but not so hard that the crust loses its crumbly texture. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably longer, before baking.


For the filling:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Vanilla Sugar (can substitute regular sugar is need be)
  • 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Melted Butter
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 cup Semisweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/3 cup Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 3 Tablespoons Vanilla Jim Beam Bourbon (or, 1 Tbsp Vanilla, 2 Tbsps Bourbon)

Combine flour and sugar, then add beaten eggs. Pour over melted butter and stir to incorporate. Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Pour into frozen pie crust, and bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes, until a nice crust forms on top and appears set. Do not overbake. Also, be careful of burning crust – if it appears to be getting too brown, wrap it in foil and continue to bake the remaining time.

**Note – I used Bourbon Vanilla. This is available for purchase in some markets, online and in some cities. However, I made my own, using Single Barrel Jim Beam and several Vanilla Beans. To make your own, pour one cup of bourbon into a sealable jar, then add 6-8 split vanilla beans. Store in cool dry place, and shake every week or so. Mine is nearly 2 years old, and very delicious, but after 6 weeks of aging you will have a very usable product.

One more note? I WON the Avocado Contest, thanks to all of YOUR support! I wish you knew what this means to me – more than the trip – I really can’t say how much I appreciate each and every one of you! So – THANK YOU!! Looks like I’m headed to the Rose Bowl!!

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