Derby Pie: Cause Thanksgiving

Hey guys, so here’s the thing. I started this post in the beginning of December. I was all excited about it and I was jamming on this post and then I kind of had a show to run and it took over my life for a while. I was super tired and kind of sick and this blog just fell off my radar. Well, tis a new year and I’m finally feeling more like myself after the holidays and the sickness and family and we are back to talk about something I baked in November. You know what though, this pie is so freaking good, you could totally make it any time of year. Here we go!

I. Love. Thanksgiving.

I know. It’s a horrible thing to celebrate because the Native American people have been slaughtered and exploited for generations. I certainly hate that part of American history and it is worse than embarrassing that we still can’t get our shit together when it comes to treating indigenous people with respect.

I still love it. I love the food. I love getting together with my family. I love going to the Plaza and watching the lights come on while sipping a whiskey with my husband. As per usual, for our small get together of 21 people, I took on a dessert.

I could have made pumpkin pie. It’s a crowd pleaser and all, but to me it’s a bit predictable. I wanted to  bring something to the table I knew was a seasonal favorite and was also a little to the left of center.



Chocolate Pecan Pie aka: Derby Pie.

Now, despite the fact that I say “ya’ll” a lot and am super into boots, I am not a proper southern lady and as such, need a little help in the pie department. Lucky for me, Jenna at EatLiveRun has a super awesome recipe that was a crazy hit.

This pie was demolished you guys. This pie disappeared so fast, I was able to wash the pie plate and use it for leftovers (which was good, because I conveniently forgot to bring tupperware with me). I’m not going to lie and say this one was super easy. There is a whole thing about making a syrup and the timing of adding the ingredients so they don’t cook too fast which requires a little extra attention and technique. For this reason, I do not have step by step pictures for this entry.  Taking the time to shoot photos for each step may have compromised the process by allowing the ingredients to cool too much or too quickly.

Glad we got that out of the way.

In lieu of step by step pictures, I’m going to include photos of dinner. Cause that’s just fun. Also, my stepsister Mary and her family were in town from Colorado, and I was super freaked out by how big my nieces and nephew had grown.  My stepsister Laura is expecting her first baby and my stepsister Libby has a little boy who is about a year and a half old.

There were lots of kids. Lots. And yes, my family is a little like the Brady Bunch. #blahblahbradys

We got to the house and it was just a wall of love and chatter. One thing I love about my family, we are all talkers. Even my step family and all our in-laws are talkers. All the siblings married people who truly blend with the rest of the family. We all get along and when we haven’t been together in a while and then see each other again, it’s like no time has passed.

I honestly feel like I hit the family lottery. When Eric and I decide to have kids, I can only hope they are half as happy as I was growing up and they feel about their relatives the way I do.

We set our food down and everything looked so super delicious.

So. Many. Side dishes.

And the children.

This is June. She’s itty. And freaking cute.


And she’s a pistol. A. pistol.

This is Grace. She is 10. When I say 10, I mean she was like 7 the last time I remember seeing her and she was about a foot shorter. And not 10. Or as sassy.


Sass. Out the wazoo. Is that how you spell wazoo? I’m going to make it a thing. Wazoo.


This is Henry and Grace. Henry is approximately 12 feet tall now. What. Seriously. For quite a few years, it was just him and Grace. They are thick as thieves, though they sometimes pretend they aren’t. It’s pretty cool to see them together and makes me ponder having more than one kid. Also, he’s 13 which is terrifying because I definitely remember babysitting him when he wasn’t eating solid food yet.

So after we ate and everyone felt like they were going into a food coma, we went out to the hilly kind of woody area behind Libby’s house and just wandered with the kids. It was super cute. Then we came back in for dessert.

My favorite.


Ok. So Eric and I shared this bit of diabetic delight. We have our pecan pie, Laura’s chocolate pumpkin bread and…let’s see…it was like a month and a half ago, but I think that is shortbread cake? Some kind of cake? Carbs. It’s sugary carbs.

Everything was ridiculous. We always cook enough food for an army and then some. It’s pretty fantastic.

Afterwards, we went home and then walked down to the plaza to see the lights. We walked around a bit staying far away from the main stretch of crazy, then we ended up on the balcony at McCormick and Schmick’s. Eric ordered whiskey at the bar and while he was dealing with that, I read some of Ready Player One. You guys, have you read this book?? It’s fantastic. Go read it. Go now.

He got back and we sipped our whiskey and enjoyed the lighting. It was comforting to have some alone time with him after the massive family dinner. The day after Thanksgiving is always a 12 hour work day for me because it’s our first theatre rehearsal with kiddos for The Nutcracker, so Thanksgiving night is a special time for me to breathe and prepare for the oncoming storm.

And that’s that. There was no pie to bring home to enjoy for breakfast the  next day, but that’s just as well for me. I think there is a misconception about baking that everyone who likes to bake eats everything they bake. Not me. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I test everything (obvi), but my joy comes from sharing my treats with others. If there is nothing left, I feel like I did a good deed.

This pie was a good deed. It’s a little ambitious, sure, but if you know that it is an undertaking, it is so worth it!


Nosh on, friends!

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 Derby Pie

Yield: 1 pie Prep: 10 -15 minutes Bake: 50-55 minute


1 9-inch pie crust-Like I said, not a proper lady, so I used a store bought crust. If you make your own, you rock my socks off.

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chunks

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1 cup dark corn syrup

1 cup packed brown sugar

4 eggs, beaten

2 Tbsp Mexican vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup Bulleit Rye (you can also use the bourbon of your choice. I like the bite of the rye whiskey against all the sweetness. I think it balances out the pie. Personal thing)

2 Tbsp unsalted butter (melted)


  • Preheat oven to 325°. Spray a pie plate and drape pie crust into plate. Trim extra dough from edges and prick bottom of dough all over with a fork.
  • Scatter chocolate chunks and chopped pecans all over bottom of pie crust. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine corn syrup, brown sugar and booze. Bring to a boil and stir well. You should probably stir it pretty continuously so the sugar doesn’t stick to the bottom or scorch or anything crazy. Once the entire mixture is smooth and the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat to cool slightly.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, melted butter, vanilla and salt.
  • Slowly. Very slowly, drizzle the slightly cooled syrup in the egg mixture. Stir as you drizzle and monitor the mixture so the eggs don’t cook.
  • Once all the syrup has been poured into the eggs, pour that entire bowl over the pecans and chocolate chunks. Be careful that you pour slowly and evenly so you don’t accidently spill it over the side like I did. 🙂
  • I also brushed the crust with extra melted butter and sprinkled spiced vanilla sugar on it because fun.
  • Bake 1 hour. Let cool 1 hour before serving.
  • Heat it up and serve with coffee ice cream, or chocolate ice cream, or vanilla ice cream. Or no ice cream. It’s up to you. You don’t even have to heat it. You just have to eat it. #rhymingisfun
  • Enjoy!


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