- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 25, 2006

On the first Saturday in May, the people of Kentucky — Louisville and Lexington, in particular — dress in their finest, socialize with friends and savor tailgating before the Kentucky Derby.

Whether you are in the infield at Churchill Downs or in the den with friends watching the race on television, the Derby is one fun time.

Much of this has to do with tradition and the sipping of mint juleps and singing “My Old Kentucky Home” before the beginning of the race.

But much also has to do with serving delicious potluck sandwiches, salads and the most famous pie around: one made with local bourbon, pecans and chocolate.

This pie is for adults because the bourbon flavor comes sailing through.

If you want to teetotal the recipe, simply omit the bourbon and use buttermilk or water instead.

It will be a delicious pecan fudge pie, but don’t tell the folks from Kentucky.

Four time-shaving ways to fill a store-bought pie crust

• With your favorite recipe for quiche.

• Fill with two cups of sliced ripe tomatoes, half a cup of chopped fresh basil, a combination of two beaten eggs and half a cup of milk or cream, plus 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until it has browned and is set.

• Fill with slices of apple, pear, peach or plum. Add a cup of sugar, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a couple tablespoons of butter. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbling.

• Bake pie shell first, then fill with your favorite ice cream and freeze.

Kentucky bourbon pecan fudge pie

The preparation time is 10 minutes, and the baking time is 42 to 47 minutes.

1 refrigerated 9-inch pie crust

1 19.8-ounce package brownie mix

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup bourbon, buttermilk or water

2 large eggs

½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Place pie crust in a 9-inch pie pan. Flute edges as desired.

Place brownie mix, melted butter, bourbon, buttermilk or water, and eggs in a large mixing bowl.

Beat with a wooden spoon until just incorporated and smooth, about 50 strokes. Pour batter into prepared crust, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle chocolate chips and pecans on top of pie. Place pie on center rack of preheated 350-degree oven.

Bake pie until crust is deep golden brown, center has puffed up and the nuts have toasted, 42 to 47 minutes. Remove pan from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes. Slice and serve. Makes 8 servings.




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