December 7, 2010

A Winning 'n' Easy Kentucky Derby Pie

You'll be in the winner's circle in no time with this quick recipe
Imagine a state's quintessential pie that's like eating cookie dough in a flaky pie crust. It's long on taste but short on time with my grandmother's no roll-out method pie crust. I'd say it's like cheating on making pie crust, but that doesn't quite keep with our winning theme here. And the inside filling is like a pecan pie meets a chocolate bar.

I'm incorporating my grandmother's pie crust with my mother's recipe for Kentucky Derby Pie. I'm not sure where we first found the recipe but my copy, as best I can tell, was printed on our late '80s dot matrix printer that would have been hooked up to our Steve Wozniak Apple IIGS computer. It was one of my younger sister Becky's favorite desserts. It's a recipe that goes together quickly. Kind of like how I always forget how fast the Derby Race begins and then ends. Check back for more on insight on the story of a Kentucky Derby racehorse, Perfect Drift.

I have to confess that while many blog sites were featuring pies leading up to Thanksgiving I was pretty much in pie denial. I'd convinced myself I didn't like to bake pies. Perhaps it was because when I'd made pies it was always apple pies that took longer to peel and slice the apples than bake them. And the traditional Thanksgiving pumpkin pie just wasn't anything my family was willing to try. Not that I can blame them, there's always been something about the texture of pumpkin pie that just isn't right despite the addition of exotic cooking spices and fresh whipped cream. To my family, pumpkin seems more akin to squash and therefore a yucky vegetable than a lovely aromatic fruit. I suppose my entire household is more Marie Antoinette than pilgrim. (I do realize that I'm perpetuating two myths here: Marie didn't say that cake line and pilgrims didn't eat pie at the first Thanksgiving.)

So pies haven't been on my mind until I started thinking about my Kentucky menu. I'd forgotten about this quicker pie crust recipe until I was taking to my aunt who baked three pies for our Thanksgiving meal. She'd tried a new crust recipe that she wasn't sure she liked. I remembered how her mother, my grandmother, was certain that with my skill, or rather lack of skill at using the rolling pin I was in dire need of her recipe that skips the rolling and resting and refrigerating dough. It's quick and quite flaky and would also make a smash-up crust for quiches on the quick. (Another item that only my eldest daughter and I will eat in our house.)

A Course for Adventure's
Kentucky Derby Pie

Margaret Lesovsky's
"Easy as Pie" Crust recipe (no-roll-out method)
2 cups flour (I use unbleached Hudson Cream)
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup oil
3 Tablespoons milk

Blend together all the ingredients well with a fork.
Pat together to make a dough ball. Divide into half.
With your hands press across the bottom and up sides of a pie plate. I used a 10" inch pie plate and used a little more than half the dough. I refrigerated the other portion of the dough to use as a topping for a hearty ground beef and vegetable filled pie. If a recipe calls for a top crust, you can just use your fingers to sprinkle the other half of the dough on top of the pie filling.
You can bake this quick crust like any other pie crust.

Kentucky Derby Pie Filling
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, beaten (try to get range free eggs if possible)
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), melted and cooled
1 cup of pecans OR English walnuts, in small pieces (or mixture of both)
1 cup chocolate chips

Mix sugar, flour, vanilla and eggs together. Add butter, nuts and chocolate chips. Mix all together thoroughly.
Pour into the unbaked pie shell ...
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool before serving.

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