I’m from Louisville, where a chocolate-pecan pie is served not just on Derby Day but the whole year round. For years, it was what I gave friends for Christmas, birthdays and special occasions. It was also the star of my annual derby parties. I hadn’t made it for a while, so I was pleased when a friend requested it recently for his birthday.
But you don’t have to stop once the pie is out of the oven. Earlier this year, on a trip to my old hometown, I encountered a milkshake version. That’s right: Add a slice of this and some vanilla ice cream and milk to your blender to create a dessert that is completely over the top. (And, yes, you still top it with whipped cream.)
The bourbon is a traditional element of the pie, but you can leave it out, if you must.
1/2 cup flour
1 cup sugar or brown sugar (not packed)
2 eggs, beaten
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust
Bourbon, for garnish
Whipped cream, for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix flour and sugar. Add beaten eggs and melted butter, stirring until fully incorporated. Add nuts, chocolate chips and vanilla. Stir well. Pour into unbaked pie crust.
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. While warm, but not hot, top with at least one shot of bourbon and let it settle for a few minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Top with whipped cream (or bourbon-flavored whipped cream), if desired.
Makes 1 pie.
From John Griffin