This weekend’s distraction, for instance, was the annual running of the Kentucky Derby — which means only one thing in the Boyer household: the annual trek to our friends’ annual Derby party one town over. We each bring one dollar, bet on a horse, eat cheesy potatoes, drink mint juleps … and win or lose, it’s always a good time!
Somewhere along the way, I became the baker of the Derby pies. When that happened, I did a little research and found online the Kentucky Derby Museum Cookbook recipe. I made two pies that first year, and though good, boy, were they potent! The problem being: I used the “good stuff.”
The original recipe calls for two tablespoons of Kentucky bourbon. My husband is a Knob Creek man (as is our host). I didn’t want to buy a whole bottle of cheap bourbon just for the pie … and isn’t there something I keep hearing on the Food Network about cooking with wine you would drink? I figured the same held true for bourbon. But over the years, I’ve learned that two tablespoons is just too much. So I’ve dropped it to one tablespoon of the “good stuff,” and now I’d have to say, the pie is perfect!
Of course, this year I mixed it up a bit. I baked just one Derby pie (Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie), and brought another dessert-specialty of mine: Lemon Sponge Pie. I’m told it’s a hard pie to make, but the recipe I have, which originated locally, must be good — the pie sets up well every time.
The Derby is done for another year. Super Saver won the race, and already I’m looking forward to next year’s party. I may have to bring three pies, though; the two went all too quickly. But you don’t have to wait a whole year to try making a Derby pie for yourself. It’s good any old day of the year. And with warm weather upon us here in the Northeast, lemon sponge is as refreshing as pie gets. Give that one a try as well.
Me … I’m back to the drawing board. I still have that Sausage & Peppers monkey on my back. Oh, “to write is to write….” Till next time: Buona la cottura, i miei amici.