If you're ready to take a classic Southern dessert to a level of decadence the holiday table has yet to see in pie form, you've come to the right recipe. This Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie features a high-rise layer of sticky, bourbon-laced caramel, melty chocolate, and toasty pecans all perfectly packaged atop a flaky, buttery pie crust.
It's safe to consider this dessert both a masterpiece in both flavor and beauty and it's guaranteed to be well-received at any Thanksgiving or holiday table!
ABOUT THIS CHOCOLATE PECAN BOURBON PIE
Although this pie was modeled after the famous Kentucky Derby Pie™ recipe, it really resembles (and tastes) like a souped-up pecan pie more than anything else.
With a Kentucky Derby Pie, the filling is a bit more solid and almost cookie-like in texture.
With this Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie, on the other hand, that beloved sweet caramely layer is tall and prominent, the chocolate chips stay suspended directly above it (not within it), and there's a solid layer of pecans situated right on the top.
And, yes -- it is just as decadently delicious as it sounds.
WHAT IS KENTUCKY DERBY PIE?
Kentucky Derby Pie is made up of almost all of the same ingredients as a good, old fashion pecan pie, only with a few extra special touches! The two biggest differentiations between a Kentucky derby pie and a pecan pie are the chocolate chips and, of course, the Kentucky bourbon!
KENTUCKY DERBY PIE HISTORY
The origin place of Kentucky derby pie comes as no surprise. It was created in the state of Kentucky by George Kern, with the help of his parents (Walter and Leaudra) in 1954 at the Melrose Inn in Prospect, Kentucky.
What may come as a surprise to you, is that although the pie is now commonly made with a pecan filling, walnuts were the original nut of choice!
You might also be surprised to find that in the very beginning, this pie had essentially nothing to do with the Kentucky Derby itself. The name was chosen at random and was literally pulled from a hat.
However, as the popularity of the pie began to soar, it became very closely associated with the Derby. These days, it's deemed a Derby party-must along with Mint Juleps and Benedictine Dip.
HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE BOURBON PECAN PIE
- Ready the oven and the pie dish.
- Roll out the pie crust, place in dish, and crimp edges.
- Add chocolate chips and pecans and transfer to the freezer.
- Whisk together the remaining filling ingredients.
- Pour the filling over chocolate chips and pecans.
- Bake and cool completely.
1. READY THE OVEN AND THE PIE DISH
The first thing you'll do to kick off your Kentucky Derby Pecan Pie is ready the oven and the pie dish!
Before you get to preheating, be sure you have a rack situated in the lower third of your oven. This placement of the rack will help the bottom of your pie crust to fully cook through in the allotted amount of time.
Once you've got your rack situated, preheat your oven to 325°F and have ready a 9-inch pie dish; preferably a deep dish!
2. ROLL OUT AND PREP THE CRUST
You can use either homemade pie crust or store-bought pie crust for this Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie. If you are using a homemade pie crust, roll it out on a floured work surface into a circle so that it is about an eighth of an inch thick and 12 inches in diameter.
Once your crust is ready, gently lay it inside of your pie dish and crimp over the edges.
3. ADD PECANS AND CHOCOLATE CHIPS
Scatter chopped pecans and chocolate chips across the crust and transfer the dish to the freezer while you whip up your filling.
Note, you can use dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips for this recipe! Dark chocolate chips will be less sweet and more bitter than semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Transferring the pie shell to the freezer will ensure that the butter within the crust is cold as it goes into the oven. The temperature of the butter is very important for a Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie with a flaky crust!
4. WHISK TOGETHER REMAINING FILLING INGREDIENTS
Once you've got your crust in the freezer, you will whisk together egg, butter, light corn syrup, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, bourbon, and vanilla extract in a medium or large mixing bowl.
Then, you'll sprinkle over the flour and the salt and mix until combined. At this point, the pie shell can come out of the freezer, and you'll pour that sugary filling all over the pecans and the chocolate chips.
5. BAKE AND ALLOW THE CHOCOLATE BOURBON PECAN PIE TO COOL COMPLETELY
Bake the pie for 60 to 65 minutes rotating the pie dish halfway through the baking process.
Take care to check your Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie at the 45-minute mark, and if it appears as though the crust is already browning, place a tent of aluminum foil over the pie for the remaining 15 minutes or so of bake time.
Once the Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie has finished baking, remove it from the oven, place it on a wire rack, and allow it to cool completely until the filling has cooled down to room temperature.
If you cut into your pie while it is still hot, that caramel filling will run all over the plate!
HOW TO SERVE CHOCOLATE BOURBON PECAN PIE
Serve your Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie with a great big dollop of whipped cream or a hefty scoop of vanilla ice cream. And, if you want to be extra decadent, top it off with a drizzle of salted caramel!
6 MORE DESSERT RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Praline Cake
- Peach Cobbler Pound Cake
- Pecan Pie Bars
- Red Velvet Brownies
- Butter Pecan Blondies
- Texas Sheet Cake
Easy and delicious Kentucky Derby Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie stacked with layers of bourbon-laced caramel, melty chocolate, and toasty pecans on top of a flaky, buttery pie crust! The perfect holiday dessert for the Thanksgiving table!
- 1 disc homemade pie crust or store-bought pie crust
- 1 ½ cups chopped pecans
- ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- ½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 325°F and have a rack in the lower third of the oven. Have ready a 9" pie dish.
If using a homemade pie crust, flour both sides of a pastry disk and set atop a floured work surface. Begin rolling out the disk until it is about an ⅛" thick and 12" in diameter. Gently situate the pie crust in the dish and crimp the edges as desired.
Scatter the pecans and chocolate chips across the pie crust and set in the freezer while you make the filling mixture.
Whisk together butter, corn syrup, light brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, bourbon (if using), and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth. Then, sprinkle over the flour and salt, and mix to combine. Remove the pie crust from the freezer and pour the filling over the pecans and chocolate chips.
Bake for 60-65 minutes, rotating the pie halfway through the cooking process. Check the pie at the 45-minute mark, and if needed, tent with a sheet of aluminum foil for the remainder of the cooking time to avoid over-browning the crust.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Allow the filling to set, about 2 hours, before serving.