Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Dessert: Derby Pie

I have had pumpkin pie once, maybe twice in my life. And when the opportunity for more has presented itself, I’ve politely declined. Give me a fruit pie, a sweet potato pie, or a chocolate pudding pie, but not pumpkin. I particularly love pecan pie and chess pie – but neither of those are readily veganized.


I first had a Derby Pie in college, and it was frequently requested among my schoolmates. This pie is chocolate, pecan, and bourbon. Often, I’m a pecan purist, but when I came across a recipe for a vegan pie that sounded like a Derby Pie, I knew I had to make it. I am so, so glad I did.

This was exceptionally good. As you can see, my pie is chocked full of pecans. I followed the recipe with only the slightest changes, and maybe there were too many pecans (I’m not the most precise in measuring). I also used Karo corn syrup in place of the maple and agave as I didn’t want to throw in another competing flavor, plus I had a coupon for Karo. That, and Alex didn’t believe me when I told him my grandmother used to give us corn syrup to put on our pancakes.

The pie looks rich, but it really wasn’t too sweet. That may have something to do with my other adaption: as I was using corn syrup instead of agave, I wanted to make sure I didn’t make it too sweet. So I substituted some of the syrup with more whiskey! Still turned out well, even if the filling bubbled over the edge of my crust and then fell back, leaving little craters in between some of the pecans.

If I could have had a slice without leaving evidence that I had done so, I would have liked to have tried a piece before Thanksgiving to rest my mind about whether this would taste good. In the end, though, it didn’t matter; the pie is delicious and I still have several slices to go.


  1. More whiskey...yeah, you've got my attention. This pie sounds wonderful and looks appropriately sinful for a holiday indulgence! Looks like a perfectly slim slice too...just enough to relish the sumptuous flavors!

    I'm not too keen on pumpkin pie either. I could live without it.

  2. I love the substitute of more whiskey...I need to try that. For everything!

  3. lol "i still have several more to go":) i like that!! also i liked seeing the inside of this...

    your grandma would give you CS? i never thought of that. i didnt even know you could buy corn syrup in a store till a few months ago.

    lets just say, hypothetically, ive never had whiskey and dont like the taste of alcohol....hypothetically remember,..., do you think i would like it? does it taste like alcohol? or is it more subtle?

    great picture!

    i want this!

  4. i never used to be down with pumpkin pie, but lately it's become a good friend of mine. ah ha ha! i think that's awesome your grandmother would give you corn syrup for your pannycakes. mine would heat up this little pitcher of maple syrup for us - and she would hide bacon under my pancakes when i was veggie - promising "not to tell anyone if i just had a few nibbles." i never did, but i kinda found it cute and funny that she did that. grandmothers are the best! your derby pie looks crazy awesome. i'm not the more precise measurerer either. it's all good. and your pie looks allllll goooooood all around. totally gonna have to try it out because pecans + booze in pie form = yay!

  5. Thank you so much for posting the link! I have to admit, I really don't like pumpkin pie. This looks so much better!

  6. Oh, maybe I should give pumpkin pie another chance. Who's going to make it for me?

    dirtyduck, the whiskey flavor is subtle, but if you don't like it you could certainly just do chocolate pecan pie. Before I baked it, the filling had a strong whiskey smell, but it mellowed out during the bake.

  7. oh man...this sounds awesome. I think my husband would even love this...pecan anything is his fav!

  8. This looks fantastic! What kind of bourbon do you recommend? I don't know if I should make this or Blessed Mama's Pumpkin Roll first? I will just buy a premade pie shell though. Did your grandma heat the syrup before giving it to you for your pancakes?

  9. oh my gawd, Kentucky Derby Pie!! I have a client who sends me a non-vegan one every year. I always have to give it away and the idea just sounds amazing.