Not Derby-Pie® ice cream notably improves on the inspiration

We have amply described in a previous post why we’re unable to call this dish Derby-Pie® Ice Cream (and why we always include the hyphen and the “®”). But as it is once again time for “the fastest two minutes in sports,” we were inspired to imbue the flavors of this Derby confection into ice cream. Rule Number One was simple: do not use Derby-Pie®. Not that we’re dismissing the Kerns’ creativity—after all, they were quite helpful when we wrote our book. But we thought simply hucking wads of Derby-Pie® into freezing custard would be gross.

Instead, Michelle made walnut pralines, reaching for the caramelization of pecan pie while adding the crunch of crust. Chocolate chunks and a hefty glug of bourbon stood in for the rest of the ingredients. What came out of our freezer was a delicious take on the trademarked icon, and one we’d gladly take over the original.Even if you’re not into Derby, you may very well be interested in tasting crunchy sweet walnuts and chocolate together in some delicious ice cream. It will be like having your own Derby in a cone—and no one will be coming around to sue you.

Obligatory annual mint julep photo


  • Servings: about 1-1/2 quarts
  • Print

(ice cream adapted from Bon Appétit Magazine/chocolate chunks adapted from Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet/praline adapted from Emeril Lagasse and Marcelle Bienvenu’s Louisiana Real and Rustic)


  • 9 egg yolks
  • 3 TB granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1-1/2 c. milk
  • 1-1/4 c. + 3/4 c. cream
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 2 TB or more bourbon
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Whisk egg yolks, granulated sugar and salt in a medium bowl until sugar is dissolved.

Stir milk, 1-1/4 cup cream and brown sugar together in a heavy saucepan over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Do not worry if it looks a bit curdled.

Gradually add a cup or so of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking to temper. Add the warmed egg yolk mixture to the saucepan. Stir custard over low heat for several minutes, until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Strain the custard into metal bowl. Add remaining 3/4 cup of cream. Let cool completely, stirring often, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, before freezing, add bourbon to taste and vanilla.


  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 TB water

Melt chocolate and water in a double boiler, stirring frequently. Pour mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper. Slide paper onto a small plate or baking sheet and freeze. When chocolate is firm, chop into chunks. Return to freezer until needed.


  • 1-1/4 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 TB butter
  • 2 TB water
  • 1 c. toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

Combine sugar, butter and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until mixture begins to boil. Add walnuts and continue to cook, stirring, until thickened (3 or 4 minutes).

Drop praline mixture by spoonfuls onto a piece of waxed paper. Let cool. Chop cooled pralines into small pieces.


Freeze ice cream in a freezer according to manufacturer’s instructions. When frozen, stir on chocolate chunks and praline pieces. Remove to a container and freeze for several hours before serving.


  1. Susie T.

    “But we thought simply hucking wads of Derby-Pie® into freezing custard would be gross.” I agree, and this sentence really made me laugh! I could just picture it.

  2. Oh my. You may recall my own interactions with the Derby Pie legal department after I offered up a recipe on my blog. (And which resolved itself in my favor with them sending me a pie to thank me for editing the post.) Can’t wait to try this. After Dann Byck and mint juleps, Derby Pie is my favorite thing Louisvillian.

  3. Love the story behind this Michelle – and although I’m not a huge ice cream fan your description sounds wonderful – especially when you got to the ‘slug of Bourbon’

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