Derby Pie

Grab your best flowery hat and a mint julep, we're off to the Kentucky Derby! Derby Pie is a storied pie perfect for Derby-Day gatherings. The recipe just might be as Kentucky-authentic as it gets. It's quick to make but rich - good thing small slivers are plenty.

Derby Pie

Here’s a pie that has almost as many names as slices.

Confederate Pie is one. “It’s just like Kentucky Pie except swiy-ter,” it’s been said in a thick southern accent, so that’s another. One more? Jefferson Davis Pie.

A reader (hi Barb!) calls it "Back Home Pie" and her dad always said, "I don't care if it is called 'Dirty Pie', it's a good one!"

The recipe comes from my long-time real-life friend Lisa of My Own Sweet Thyme who is a Kentucky girl by birth and she got it from her Aunt Hen.

For a long time, Aunt Hen worked for the folks that got to be famous for Derby Pie. But whenever someone asked her for the recipe – and people will ask for this recipe, trust me on that – Aunt Hen carefully penned out “Brownie Pie” on the top of a 3x5 card. Check Lisa’s story about why, she calls it “Family Secrets”.

But me, I’m going with the name Derby Pie because – lucky girl that I am, some times – my hats are packed and I’m headed south for the Kentucky Derby!

This is all thanks to the folks at Pure Leaf who are bringing together a few bloggers and Top Chef judge Gail Simmons to help tell the Pure Leaf story. (More on that below.) While there, I am thrilled to finally meet Janelle from Talk of Tomatoes, a long-time favorite Seattle food blog.

ALANNA’s TIPS For chocolate, I broke two 3.5-ounce bars of 60% dark chocolate into pieces. Chocolate chips would work better, I think, they’re better melters. Want a chocolatey Derby Pie? Melt the butter and chocolate together, then proceed. This pie makes up so quickly from just a handful of pantry ingredients yet the results are great.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!


Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 2 hours
Serves 8 or 16 (it’s rich, thin slices are good)
  • 1 unbaked pie shell
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts or pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (62g) flour
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon or vanilla
  • For top of pie, several whole toasted walnuts or pecans
  • To serve, whipped cream and mint leaves

Preheat oven to 375F. Arrange pastry in a pie pan and crimp the edges. Spread chocolate chips across the bottom.

In a bowl, whisk the butter and sugars together. Whisk in the eggs until completely broken up, then the remaining ingredients.

Pour into pie shell. Arrange whole walnuts or pecans on top of the pie. Bake for 35 minutes or until center becomes firm.

Let cool. If chilled, Derby Pie will cut into sharp, firm slices, otherwise the slices are slightly soft.

To serve, cut into slices, top with dollops of whipped cream and leaves of fresh mint.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Slice, assuming 16/8 slices: 317/635 Calories; 20/40g Tot Fat; 10/19g Sat Fat; 46/93mg Cholesterol; 68/137mg Sodium; 32/64g Carb; 1/2g Fiber; 20/40g Sugar; 4/8g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 8/15.5, PointsPlus 9/18

YIKES Who knew? If the crust isn’t worth eating (prepared crusts, I'm talkin' to you,), cut calories and points by just eating the filling. For lower-calorie, lower-point pies, see the Weight Watchers recipes, start with 5 points (Old Points).

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Slice, Filling Only, assuming 16/8 slices: 222/445 Calories; 13/27g Tot Fat; 6/12g Sat Fat; 41/83mg Cholesterol; 52/105mg Sodium; 23/47g Carb; 1/2g Fiber; 19/38g Sugar; 3/6g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 5/10.5 PointsPlus 6/12

This Week, Years Past 2002 - 2011

Laura's Carrot Soup Kitchen Stir-Fry Coffee Pots & Lemon Pots Asparagus Custard Tart Mom's Roast Chicken Mom's Everyday Oatmeal Cookies Ripe Bananas for Baking: How Ripe Should Bananas Be? Southern Belle Lemon Layer Cake How to Frost a Cake: Step-by-Step Photos & Tips

This Week, Elsewhere

Hacienda Guacamole Especial from Hacienda Mexican Restaurant
My Weekly Column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Greek Spinach-Asparagus-Potato Gratin (Spinaki me Sparaggia Orgraten)
A Veggie Venture

Just In Time for Summer:
Iced Tea in the Back Yard

Pure Leaf Iced Tea in my back yard

Once upon a time, I sat next to a guy on an airplane whose company made manhole covers. Over the next two hours, I learned more about manholes than you might ever believe, he was SO enthusiastic about the in's and out's of manhole covers. The experience taught a huge lesson: how much we can learn about any subject in the world – even manhole covers – when we spend time with an expert.

That's the big reason why I'm excited to spend time with Pure Leaf, to learn from experts. And iced tea is new for me, I've maybe bought one bottle in my whole life. Usually it's just "Drop a tea bag and water into a big jar, let it brew in the sun for a few hours". My sun tea is fresh alright, but it's also strong and "puckery" from the tannins, not always for the faint of heart.

So far, I've tasted two Pure Leaf teas, the plain unsweetened and the peach. Both are gentle and drinkable, not in the least bit astringent. I don't have much of a sweet tooth so was surprised to really like the peach tea. It doesn't taste particularly sweet although it does have 20 grams of sugar in a one-cup serving, that's 2 PointsPlus for Weight Watchers. Another surprise? I found myself wanting to sweeten the unsweetened tea, just a touch. So much for not having much of a sweet tooth ...

My grocery store only carries the unsweetened tea and the sweet teas. Pure Leaf has a sweetened tea and an "extra sweet" southern-style tea. Plus there are fruity teas, lemon, raspberry, etc., with sugar-free versions of some of those. Right now, they're "on sale" for $1 a bottle.

Today I'm making sorbet from the lemon tea, using the formula from Easy Fruit Sorbet. I'll let you know how it goes!

DISCLOSURE Pure Leaf has invited a group of other bloggers and me to attend the Kentucky Derby this weekend, all part of an effort to tell the Pure Leaf story. As always, the opinions here are my own.

More Sweet Slices

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Frozen Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie Summer Berry Pie First-Prize Peach Pie with Lattice Crust

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

© Copyright 2012 Kitchen Parade

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Catherine5/02/2012

    Mmmm, this looks really good. Is it a bit like a chocolate pecan pie? For the crust, what kind of pastry is best to use? I would probably buy some sheets that I would have to roll out, but there would be a choice of flaky, shortcrust or filo.

  2. Thanks, Catherine! I guess yes, it is kind of a chocolate pecan pie, the top of the pie is slightly crusty, your fork has to break through it to get to the filling. I'd use a regular pie crust, for this pie, I tried the Trader Joe's pie crust for the first time, was less than excited about how it held together and the taste was no better than Pillsbury.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna